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Salem wakes up to sparrow chirps

Adapting to times:Braving hostile environment that threatens their very existence, sparrows are returning to city limits. A scene from Peramanur in Salem. –

Bird watchers in Salem city were delighted to see a bunch of house sparrows of the family of Passeridae, chirping and playing in Peramanur locality here, after their mysterious disappearance from the city and its suburbs a few years back.

These three birds have been camping at Peramanur, a thickly populated area in the city, since Monday. A few more birds were seen at high rise buildings in the Old Bus stand area. A lodge here is being occupied by them to roost.

These birds, associated closely with humans, and known as ‘Kuruvi’ in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, has enlivened the area with both the young and the aged watching them play on rooftops and trees and pecking at frequent intervals though spilled grains are not available for them as in the past.

They are moving out of cities and towns and are seen mostly in villages where open fields are still available.

There is a demand to bring them under the endangered species category.

The causes of its decline include lack of habitats, increasing use of pesticides in farmlands that resulted in killing worms, which form the main food for the birds, and disappearing backyard gardens

G. Chandrasekaran, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Tamil Nadu Forest Academy, Coimbatore, who served in Salem a few years back says that changing lifestyle has wreaked havoc on the bird’s habitat and food sources. ‘’Sighting the birds in Salem is a pleasant surprise.”

Bird watchers here say that city’s residents should be sparrow-friendly so that these tiny birds can co-habitat with them.

Source: The Hindu


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