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.

Friday 10 November 2017

Birds of a feather migrate together: Karachi’s native sparrows have flown the coop

Published: October 31, 2017

KARACHI: Years ago the people living in Karachi woke to the trills and chirps of birds. They had their morning tea in accompaniment of melodious songs of hundreds of birds singing in harmony.

But the city’s environment slowly started changing and soon those birds were no more.

The population of the house sparrow, the most common bird in Karachi at one time, began to decline as their natural habitat began to die out due to urbanisation. The sparrow was once so common in the city that it was visible not only in parks and perched on tree limbs, but also around people’s houses.

But as the bio-diversity of plants changed in the city, the avian population was also affected.

The birds are now only found around old native trees — neem, peepal, amaltas and gulmohar.
Where did our feathered friends go?

The Express Tribune spoke to senior ornithologist Dr Syed Ali Ghalib about the disappearance of Karachi’s birds.

According to him, the situation is alarming. Our priorities are other species, such as the Houbara Bustard, and species like unglamorous sparrows are neglected.

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