Thursday, 26 February 2015

Sparrow – beautiful & social bird

Sparrow – beautiful & social bird

Sparrow is a lovely, beautiful and social bird found everywhere in our surroundings. Now a days the due to different reasons, numbers of sparrows are reducing day by day. Sparrow is the most lovable, small and harmless bird. Sparrows can be seen anywhere in our surroundings. It is a social bird. You were able to see a sparrow around you whenever you want some years ago. But now a days you have to search a sparrow if you want to show your children. The population of sparrow is declining. According to a study there is 80% decline in the numbers of sparrow. Sparrow is an important part of our life. The House 

Sparrow(Passer domesticus) is a widely recognized species the darker male with its black bib and the dull female are among the first birds children in cities and villages learn to identify.   Sparrows are as important to our ecology system.  The sparrows nesting everywhere in our home and in those days no one even minded them nesting inside the home. They were a part of the family. Human population is growing at a frantic pace. As a result, development is happening too fast, and in way which doesn't take issues like biodiversity conservation into consideration, when (the construction of) buildings, townships and development is undertaken. 

The new buildings and landscaped gardens which are being constructed are not at all sparrow friendly. The lifestyle of people has also changed. Women no longer sit outside their homes to clean grain or offer grain or chapatti, which was a daily routine once upon a time and this was a source of food for sparrows. As the habitat and food is shrinking, so are the numbers of house sparrows. Hence, we want people to take part in the creation of alternative habitats for house sparrows by adopting nest boxes and bird feeders. The common house sparrow is one of the most ubiquitous birds around us and is one of the more familiar winged companions of human beings.

 It has, over a period of time, evolved with us. At one time a very common sight, in the past few years, this bird has been on the decline over much of its natural range, both in the urban and rural habitats. The decline of the house sparrow is an indicator of the continuous degradation. of the environment. The house sparrow is, in a sense, an ambassador to the common bird species. The hope is that the conservation of the house sparrow and its habitat will in turn help save much of the common biodiversity, which shares the habitat of the house sparrows. 

Sparrow is a brown, chunky bird that is about 15 cm long and very common in human- occupied habitats. A small bird, it has a stout body, rounded wings and broad head. The bib is deep, conical and very well adapted for seed eating. The males have a distinctive black bib, white cheeks, a chestnut mantle around the grey crown and chestnut-colored feathers on the upper wings. The females and the young ones have a plain, dingy-gray breast; a distinct, buffy eye stripe; and a streaked back. 

Sparrows love to be in gardens with lots of seeds, insects and berries. Unfortunately, their number is fast declining, putting them under the threatened birds list. Facts about sparrow - Species: P. domesticus, Group Name: Flock, Length: 10-20 cm,Weight: 24-39.5 grams,Lifespan: 4-5 years,Diet: Seed and insects, Habitat: Human-altered habitat, like farm areas. Not found in dense forest and desert environment.,Gestation Period: 10-15 days,Number of Offspring: 5-8 eggs. 

Sparrows are loosely monogamous. Both the female and the male take care of the young ones, though the female does most of the brooding. These birds are aggressive and social, which increases their ability to compete with most native birds. They can swim to escape from predators, although they are not considered to be water birds. The difference between a male and a female sparrow is that the former has a reddish back and a black bib, whereas the female has brown back with eye stripe. Sparrow nests are bulky, roofed affairs. They are haphazardly built and without good workmanship, unlike what is displayed by other weaver finches. The nest building is initiated by an unmated male, who begins the construction while displaying it to the females.

 The females do assist in nest building, but are less active than the male. In cool season, sparrows build specially created roost nests or roost in streetlights, to avoid losing heat during the winter. Sparrows are generally not territorial, but they are quite aggressive when it comes to protecting their nest from intruders of the same sex. They prefer to live near human dwellings, especially if there are bird feeders. They are generally found in farming areas, cities and suburbs. Sparrows are around 14-16 cm long. They are chirpy, with grey and brown color. They have the ability to fly at the speed of 38.5 km/hour and can even reach a speed of 50 km/hour. These birds usually nest in cavities, but some may nest in bushes and trees as well. They build untidy nests of grass and assorted rubbish, including wool, feathers and fine vegetative material. Manmade environments have always been a source of food and shelter for sparrows.

 They usually nest under the eaves of homes and in holes in the walls of buildings or in climbing plants that grow on walls. Sparrows raise three nests of 3-5 eggs. Both male and female helps to incubate the eggs for 12-15 days. The fledglings usually fly out after 15 days. The population of sparrows has been declining, as there is less food for them, because of fewer gardens. They are now on the threatened birds’ list in many parts of the world. Disappearing sparrows: Common bird goes uncommon - Sparrow population continues to decline in urban areas of India. Lack of research and understanding has aggravated the rate of their disappearance. These birds being an indicator of environmental health, needs to be saved before they become extinct. The  reasons for the decline in the sparrow population. The destruction of wetland bird areas, loss of shrub vegetation coupled with reduction in potential breeding sites, has accelerated the rate of decline in the sparrow population in India. But the major reason for this decline in their number is the scarcity of insects and grains which serve as protein supplements for the young ones of sparrows. The presence of anti knocking agents like lead in petrol is known to cause deadly poisoning in birds. 

Sparrows as an indicator of change -  sparrows are sensitive to changes in the environment, they serve as an important bio-indicator for a healthy urban ecosystem, indirectly indicating human health, and their decline today has started resulting in increasing diseases among the people. These birds, being an indicator of environmental health, need to be saved before they can be seen only in books or on the internet. In the last few decades, the population of sparrows has witnessed a sharp decline. The birds which could be found everywhere are hard to spot now. This is the result of various nature-tampering activities of the humankind like deforestation, establishment of mobile towers, use of unhealthy pesticides, tampering with the food chain, and finally various forms of pollution. Habitat and 

Food - Sparrows are generally associated with human beings. Sparrows are found in the places where human are densely populated. Sparrows eat food grains like wheat, oat etc and larvae of mosquitoes and insects. Importance of Sparrow - The major importance of sparrow are: Ecological Balance : Every animal and plant in this world has its significance. The sparrow is a member of many food chain and food web. So as you know if you harm any food chain it will affect complete food web. So if you will not save sparrow it will disturb ecological balance. Pollination in many plants: Sparrow helps in pollination in many plants. Pollination is a process by which the pollen grain of one flower reaches to stigma of other flower in sexual reproduction. So Sparrow helps in sexual reproduction in plants.  Reduce many diseases : Sparrow eats larvae of many insects and mosquitoes which causes many diseases like malaria, dengue etc. So sparrows protect us from many diseases which are life threatened. Brings prosperity:  Sparrows bring prosperity for us. We like to watch this small and lovable bird. Our children always    want to observe this bird and always sing songs related to this bird to entertain themselves. Reasons of declining - The numbers of sparrows are declining. Some important reasons of declining are  :Loss of habitat : Due to modern technology old spacious buildings have been changed to the shapes where sparrow do not find their habitat. It is the most important reason of decline of population. Lack of food : The old Kirana shops have been converted in to malls or big bazaar. In this type of bazaar and malls all the items are found in packets. So sparrows do not find their food grains which were available in old kirana-shops. Electro Magnetic Radiation : The electromagnetic radiations released from our mobile phone is also a major cause of decline in the numbers of sparrows.

Modern Agriculture : Modern agriculture is also a important reason of decline the numbers of sparrows. In modern agriculture insecticide and pesticides are widely used which adversely affect the birds directly and indirectly. When sparrows eat this types of fruits this affects in the formation of egg's shell. The numbers of insects decrease due to insecticides whose larvae are food of sparrows.
Pollution : Pollution is the most important reasons of declining the numbers of sparrows. Different types of pollution like water pollution, soil pollution, noise pollution, etc adversely affect sparrows. Loss of tree cover : The deforestation is also a reason of decline of sparrows population. We are constructing modern buildings, malls, big bazaar, industries etc by destroying forest and plants. Urbanization and Unplanned development: Urbanization and unplanned development are also the most important causes of decline of sparrow’s population.
Tips to save sparrows. It is our duty to save this small, lovable, beautiful and harmless bird for environment and for ourselves. Don't do bigger things. Only by doing smaller things you can give your support to save this bird and to save our environment. Some important tips to save sparrows: Arrangement should be made for the availability of food grains and water for sparrows. Try to minimize pollution as much as possible. Minimize the use of your cell phone. If possible, use anti radiation cover to protect yourselves and to protect-environment.Wisely use insecticides and pesticides. One word of these substances are harmful in many ways. Use high quality of fuel in your vehicle and maintain your vehicle to minimize the pollution.You can use a simple apparatus to provide food and water for the sparrows. Some apparatus were distributed by Burhani foundation India last year on World Sparrow Day (20th March) all over the world to inspire the people to save sparrows.

Changing climate, global warming, growing concrete jungles, depleting greenery and most of all mobile towers dotting the skyline of urban and rural areas are seen as plausible causes for decline of sparrows across the country. Naturalists, conservationists, nature lovers and bird experts were concerned at the declining number of the friendly species of birds. the greatest danger to the environment was posed by the mobile towers erected atop buildings as the radiation released from them was affecting the avian creatures. The  house sparrow is not only amongst the most commonly found bird species in urban cities, but also the most loved. It is a small brown coloured bird, not bigger than a tennis ball, with black streaks on its back. The male and female are easily distinguishable, not in size but in coloration. Conservation issues-The house sparrow has evolved with humans, known only to live in close contact with us, instead of forests. For years, it has peacefully coexisted with us in our buildings and gardens, but in the last two decades, their population is on the decline in almost every city.Changing infrastructure-Our rapidly changing cities are no longer a suitable habitat for the house sparrow, as the new and modern designs of infrastructure does not give any room for the sparrow to nest. Also, pollution caused by microwave towers and pesticides is another reason for the declining population. Availability of food-As the green spaces in our cities give way to more concrete constructions, the house sparrow loses its foraging grounds, affecting the availability of seeds and worms. It depended heavily on house gardens, which have now been replaced with driveways in new constructions. Predation-With increase in human population in the cities, there is also an increase in other species such as the domestic cat, which is a top predator for the house sparrow. Also on the rise is the population of preying birds such as shikras, kites, and owls, which now pose a serious threat to the already fragile sparrow.