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It is celebration time for the sparrows in the garden city of Bangalore

Rama Devi Menon| Hyderabad 16 Mar 2011, Vol 2 Issue 10

The humble house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is probably one of the earliest birds you can remember from your childhood and its association with mankind dates back to several centuries. They built their nests in almost every house in the neighbourhood and they were a common sight in public places such as bus bays and railway stations, where they lived in colonies. However, the species is now fast declining.

Nasik based Nature Forever Society (NFS), which is involved in a series of initiatives to conserve the species, will host its second World Sparrow Day on March 20, 2011 in the garden city of Bangalore.

Flying high: The humble sparrow will hold centre stage at the March 20 event in Bangalore  

NFS celebrated its first World House Sparrow Day on March 20, 2010 in an effort to raise global attention to the threat facing house sparrows. "This year we will call it World Sparrow Day since house sparrows are not found in some countries such as Japan and Hong Kong. These countries have various other species of sparrows and they have expressed a desire to participate in the World Sparrow Day celebrations. So we will celebrate 26 different species of sparrows this year," says Mohammed Dilawar of the Bombay Natural History Society, who founded the NFS.

Dilawar attributes the decline of the house sparrows to various reasons ranging from the destruction of its habitat to lack of insect food for the young and even the increasing microwave radiation from mobile phone towers.

NFS recently launched a unique campaign called "Project SOS: Save Our Sparrows," under which it distributed 52,000 bird feeders to interested citizens, institutions and organisations across the country free-of-cost, in conjunction with the Burhani Foundation (India).

"Experts and the government have been focusing their efforts on conserving endangered and exotic wildlife species like the tiger and elephant, while common animals, birds and plants suffer a bleak future," laments Dilawar.

National and international organisations, NGOs, clubs and societies, universities, schools and individuals across the globe are encouraged to participate in the World Sparrow Day celebrations. An interesting event that’s being organised as part of the celebrations is a BiodiverCity Photography Competition, where anyone can send pictures of common birds taken on a regular digital camera, SLRs and even mobile cameras.

To see how you can be part of the World Sparrow Day celebrations,visit www.worldsparrowday.org for more information.
 

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