A year-long initiative by an environmental organisation to revive the presence of house sparrows in human habitation has begun to deliver the desired outcome.
On the heels of the declaration of Nanjarayan Tank as Tamil Nadu’s new Bird Sanctuary last year, the Nature Society of Tiruppur, which played a pivotal role in the water body’s transformation into the 17th bird sanctuary of Tamil Nadu had undertaken an initiative to sensitise school students to the misconceptions about house sparrows in localities in Kulathupalayam area.
Thanks to the cooperation Ravindran, president of Nature Society of Tiruppur, received from resident welfare associations in the Dr. Ambedkar, Perarignar Anna Kudiyiruppu Valagam, students of various schools could be mobilised for the sensitisation programme to drive home the facts that house sparrows do not live in forests, and this bird species do not build nests on trees.
More importantly, the students were told that the birds do not die due to presence of cell phone towers or radiation, Mr. Ravindran said.
The absence of the birds in human habitations had much to do with the changing nature of house construction. The presence of house sparrows used to be high when the houses had roofs made of thatches or tiles. Concrete houses provide little scope for the birds to build their nests, he explained.
“The students were given a task to fix cardboard boxes at a height in and around their house to see for themselves how sparrow essentially lives in human habitations, and were promised with rewards,” Mr. Ravindran said, adding that it was along expected lines when he received a call from a student named Darshan that sparrows had made a nest in a cardboard box he had placed in his house. A pleasant surprise was in store for Mr. Ravindran recently when he found that there were 15 more children in the locality who had succeeded in their experimentation.
Mr. Ravindran lost no time in calling them on again last week and rewarding them with framed photographs of various species of birds.
The society is in the process of reaching out to more students in schools and colleges in the district to create awareness of the importance of house sparrows to the ecosystem, Mr. Ravindran said.