Mumbai tops in sparrow sightings



The congested, crowded Mumbai emerged an unlikely top spot for sparrow sightings as more people reported the small bird's presence here than other metro cities, a survey said Tuesday.

"Among cities, Mumbai came out on top of the sparrow charts, with many more people reporting sparrow presence than they did from Bangalore and Chennai, where larger percent of participants said the bird was not found at all in their localities," said the findings of a survey conducted by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

"Coimbatore and Pune were next after Mumbai. Hyderabad and Delhi were intermediate in reports of sparrow presence," it added.

According to a BNHS official, thousands from across the country participated in the online survey on as well as the hard copy questionnaires in eight Indian languages.

"The survey generated a lot of enthusiasm, with 5,730 participants contributing their sparrow information. Over 25 percent of the participants were from towns and villages and the rest from large cities. The oldest participant was 91-year-old and the youngest was seven, both from Pune," the official said quoting the survey findings.

However, the survey also found that sparrows are seen in fewer places now than they were before the year 2005. Where they are still found, the numbers are lower than earlier and fewer nests are seen as well.

Comparing reports by region, the survey found that many reports of large sparrow flocks came from northwestern states such as Gujarat.

"Sparrows also seem to be doing comparatively better in the northeastern areas such as Assam and central India, including Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. These regions reported greater sparrow presence than in other parts of India," the survey said.

The survey said that on an average, rural areas are doing a little better, with more people reporting sparrows in towns and villages than in big cities. Moreover, there were twice as many reports of large flocks of sparrows being seen in towns and villages as in cities. - IANS