As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 29 October 2012

House Sparrows

Bamboo nests have been placed at Coimbatore Zoo by the members of Vaagai Foundation to encourage nesting. Photo: S Siva Saravanan.
Bamboo nests have been placed at Coimbatore Zoo by the members of Vaagai Foundation to encourage nesting. Photo: S Siva Saravanan.

The house sparrows that once chirruped around in large numbers are now spotted rarely. “Blame it on high-rise buildings, lack of greenery, and radiation from the increasing number of cell phone towers. Development has shooed the little birds away from our neighbourhood,” says M. Sanjai Gandhi, chairman of Vaagai Foundation. It spreads awareness on rainwater harvesting, and environment conservation.

The Foundation is trying to bring many birds back. It has placed bamboo nests at various locations in the city, especially where there is greenery, to attract the birds. One of its first stops has been at the Coimbatore Zoo. More than 10 bamboo nests have been placed for the love birds to nest and breed. “As there are no trees, birds have no space to build nests. We want to encourage people to place the bamboo nests at their homes too,” says Sanjai. The small bamboo nests, they say, provides a comfortable nesting ground for a number of birds such as the finches, munias, babblers, and bee eaters. The nests can be kept on terraces, windows and compound walls.

Members of the foundation also plan to distribute open nests to attract crows and mynas. “We want to make nests for the thookanam kuruvi too from coir and coconut husks, and place them on trees in our neighbourhood,” he adds. Besides Ramanathapuram, Ramnagar and Gandhipuram in Coimbatore, the bamboo nests have made their way to places as far as Chennai, Kodaikanal and Dindigul.

“There was a time when there were sparrows in their hundreds. They would chirrup at the break of dawn, and it was our wake-up alarm,” remembers. S.R. Azhagappan, secretary of Vaagai Foundation.

Continued:  Read on:  http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/society/a-home-for-the-birds/article4034627.ece

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