At a time when several environmentalists are finding ways and means to bring the friendly chirp back to the city, around 15 to 18 house sparrows land on A Venugopal Reddy’s home daily for food and water. In his home at Adarsh Nagar, sparrows come inside to eat food grain and drink water. “It took a long time, but now I think they trust us. Every day is a World Sparrow Day (March 20) for me,” he said. Venugopal has been tending to sparrows for the past 20 years now.
On any given day, one can witness pigeons, crows, and squirrels coming to his home, apart from house sparrows. “The key is a plantation,” he said. “We ensure there are harmful chemical products lying around our hose,” Reddy said. As per the ornithological survey conducted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research last, year, the sparrow population in AP has dropped by a mammoth 80 percent. In the Great Backyard Bird Count held in February in Visakhapatnam, only one person recorded a sighting of six house sparrows in the city.
Green Climate Team founder JV Ratnam said, one of the most vital reasons is how we are constructing homes or apartments that has distanced winged visitors. Instead of terracotta tiles, we now have cemented roofs. We have also replaced tiny gardens with cemented floors. We have no time for nature at all. Usage of fertilizers and pesticides is another reason.”
East Coast Conservation Team environmentalist P Tamarapalli said the birds are called house sparrows since they live in human habitations in urban and rural areas.”They eat larvae of insects and protect us from many fatal diseases. Earlier houses and trees had big cavities or holes where sparrows and parrots used to nest. Now they are absent due to rapid urbanization.”