Saturday, March 20, 2010

The original twitterer -- sparrow

Today is world sparrow day. This day has been called by the Nature forever society and other wildlife trusts across the world.

This event is to celebrate and create awareness about the simple,small and cute grey,brown and white feathered bird which once perched on our ledges or on trees around our house.

As a child of the 70's and 80's, we have woken up to the constant twitter of this bird, some times cursing the bird and pulling the blanket to cover our ears. They co-existed with us on the ledges and on tree tops around us chirping and giving company to all of us around.

In the afternoons, when mom and her friends would chit- chat and clean the grains, the sparrows used to hop around them and feed on the grains strewn. It was a pastime for me and my friends to watch their nest building activity . These sparrows built their nests on the ledge outside our house, and so they were taking the soft down feathers, twigs, dry leaves etc there and dropping them on the way . The footsteps to our house were strewn with twigs, feathers and other dry leaves. Gradually the eggs laid in the nest hatched and all we could see were the wide open triangular red beaks of these birdlings, since the nests were at a height. The parent birds transferred the food from their beaks to their young ones. The chirping, hopping, fluttering of the wings beside my windows was aural and visual delight then . It was simple bird watch like these that made our childhood so magical and cherishable.

Sadly, these birds which are neither flamboyant/exotic are nowhere around today.One has to make an effort to see these little birds.

Today spacious independent houses with gardens and trees are giving way to concrete jungle/apartment complexes, old grain shops turning to a/c super markets ,organic manure giving way to chemical pesticides , air pollution in the form of CFC’s and waves of the cell phone tower( these waves are supposed to destroy the life in the eggs of sparrow), all of us using clean packeted grains have all contributed to the decline. The twitter of the sparrows have been replaced by online twitters.

The human race is facing two conflicting situations today, one is a bright one where we enjoy the benefits of state of art technology in our daily life. Thanks to genetic engineering, Information Technology, space shuttles, press button living, push button publishing etc., On the other hand is the grim scenario looming large with population explosion,Global warming, depletion of resources, pollution of the basic elements of nature, ecological degradation etc.,

Preservation and protection of our environment is one of the important responsibility of mankind today. Many large animals like tigers(just 1411 left) and small animals or birds are facing extinction. It’s time some awareness is created about ecological degradation.

Thanks to some responsible societies and trusts for taking conservation measures to protect this simple ‘chittu kuruvi’ (as called in tamil)/ gubbachi in kannada,goriya in hindi). Hope everyone of us become more responsible about our surroundings and live an environmentally healthy life and bequeath a healthy world to our future generations and also letting the house sparrow survive else gen next will see sparrows only on internet.


  1. This is one of my fav birds! Yes, in fact I was discussing this only last week with my bro and remembered exactly those things that you have written here :)
    Luckily we have some trees where we stay and we spot them occasionally but not in as many numbers though ...

  2. Asha thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving me a sweet comment,I've answered your question on my blog.
    Our children seeing a sparrow only on the net in future is a scarry thoght!You have made some good points here,it's sad that we humans have turned so selfish.I'm lucky to have many sparrows hoping around my apt balcony and I feed them grain daily.Other birds like doves,piegeon,myna,honey suckle,green bee eater and many more hop around our apt complex.....sometimes they visit me-it's such fun to watch the birds.We always encourage the kids in our family to go to parks and enjoy the outdoors.

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  4. Very nicely said!
    I too have grown up seeing 'gurbachis' :) A pity that children in highrises do not get to see them.

    Here in UK I am lucky to have a bird feeder in my garden :)


  5. I remember seeing spparows when I was a kid, but they have become a rarity now *sigh*

    Thanks for dropping by my blog, will be here to read more :)

  6. Welcome and thanks,shalini- Yes,it has become a rarity.

    @preeti, i believe sparrows are native of UK, and it must be in plenty on the country side.

    @ramya - my pleasure

    @charmaine,,. I also hear the chirp of various birds like myna and some white birds who have made the beautiful lake behind my apt as their home. Pigeons are plenty here, in fact i sometimes feel the realtor has invaded their homes to make our homes. But i don't see sparrows (and also crows) just as i used to see them in my childhood.

    @uma - Yes, this bird is a part of everyone's childhood.

  7. I'm blessed. About 10 years back, when my mother started complaining that there aren't any sparrows left in Bangalore, I started looking for sparrows, and I've always had them where I lived. They never fed from my bird feeder, or nested in my nesting box, but they were always around. And my faith in mother nature never left me.
    Lovely memories, shared memories.