Construction firm to gift houses to homeless birds

Feb 06, 2012, 07:09 IST | Adnan Attarwala

Shapoorji Pallonji embarks on idea of making homes for feathered friends with leftover wood from building sites

As trees are being felled rampantly and open spaces encroached upon, birds are fast losing their habitats. So, Shapoorji Pallonji & Co Ltd, a city-based firm that makes homes for people -- for a price, of course -- has decided to build free homes for the homeless feathered friends.

Habitat hope: Birds like the sparrow are losing their habitat as a result
of rampant felling of trees. Birdhouses created under the Shapoorji
Pallonji initiative will be put up in gardens and given to societies to
conserve birds

The company has come up with a novel initiative under which it will collect all waste wood from its housing construction sites and utilise it to make birdhouses. The tiny homes will be put up in gardens and given to households and societies to conserve the birds.

The drive -- carried out in collaboration with ELA Foundation, an NGO devoted to nature education and conservation -- aims at creating scientific awareness about birds and avian ecology among citizens. "This is being done on a company level initially.

But we plan to take it forward and do it on a large scale by collecting left over wood from our construction sites and utilise them for making homes for the birds such as magpie robin, Indian robin, hill myna, sparrows, Great Indian hornbills, spotted owlet and Great Tit. These species are facing threat due to rampant green butchery," said Vibhav Chitrao, deputy general manager (commercial) of Shapoorji Pallonji Ltd.

The ELA Foundation on the other hand has distributed around 1,000 such bird homes since past five years. According to the NGO, they have discovered about 50 percent occupation rate by birds in the places where the boxes are kept. "We have even seen rare birds like hornbills and spotted owlets making their nests inside the boxes," said ornithologist, Dr Satish Pande, director of ELA.

Even though there is tremendous potential for this, he says they have to gauge certain parameters before putting up such boxes as different birds require different boxes for themselves. Bird experts along with Chitrao aim to promote this activity across all engineering colleges where workshops on carpentry are held.

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