The harmless and cute common sparrow, which we were used to seeing around since our childhood, may soon become a rarity due to urbanisation.
World Sparrow Day is celebrated on March 20 to highlight the need to conserve sparrows as well as urban biodiversity.
Here are some sparrow facts*:
•Sparrows are social birds and very close to humans.
•They are known as “songbirds” and popular for their chirps.
•Sparrows are not water birds but they can swim to protect themselves from predators.
•Males have a black bib and reddish back. Females have brown backs with eyes stripe.
•Sparrows feed on seeds, crumbs and small invertebrates like insects.
•Their nests are not built with organization like their other bird counterparts.
•Males are more active in building nests than females.
•Manmade environments have always been a good source of food and shelter for sparrows.
•Sparrows can be quite aggressive in protecting their nests from intruders especially if they are of the same sex.
•The male and female sparrows help each other in incubation. The maximum time for incubation is around two weeks.
•Adult sparrows are mostly vegetarian however young ones need to feed on insects and animal matter immediately after they are hatched for survival.
What can we do to save the sparrows ? Here are some suggestions:
- Keep bird boxes and bird feeders outside your house or in your gardens.
- Water-bowls or a bird-baths, especiaaly in the hot summers help birds to re-hydrate.
- Grow plants.
* Reference:http://www.savesparrow.com/; The “Save Sparrow” Program is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of Travels & Rentals Lufthansa City Center based in Kolkata. This project was inspired by Bhanumati Parekh.