Sparrows greeting us at our windows and balconies have become a rare sight. Every year, March 20 is celebrated as World Sparrow Day to raise awareness about the birds and their conservation
Every year, World Sparrow Day is celebrated on March 20 to raise awareness about the birds and their conservation. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: iStock
The tiny chirpy birds that used to greet us during the day are now rare to spot because of a variety of reasons. While the lack of mud prevents them to doing their mating dance may be one of the reasons, their numbers have managed to remain stable in India.
This World Sparrow Day, let us get to know why this species is important and what is the relevance of this day:
Sparrows play a vital role in maintaining balance in the food chain. They feed on worms and insects that destroy plants. They are also prey to larger birds and snakes.
World Sparrow Day was first created in 2010 by Nature Forever Society, a non-government organisation headed by Mohammed Dilawar, an internationally acclaimed conservationist. The day is a product born out of an informal discussion at the NGO’s office.
The day seeks to improve and expand the conservation efforts to protect the bird and raise awareness about the necessity of sparrows in our ecosystem.
Here are some fascinating facts about sparrows that you should definitely know:
1. Common house sparrows are probably the most widespread wild birds in the world. They are very commonly found on two-thirds of the world’s landmasses including New Zealand, Australia, North America, India and Europe. Sparrows are absent in countries like China, Indo-China, Japan and areas of Siberia, Australia, tropical Africa and northern parts of South America.
2. They are social birds who usually reside in urban areas and enjoy engaging in baths and social singing with the rest of the birds.
They nest closer to human settlements and are almost never found in forests.
3. Sparrows are capable of swimming underwater in case of any danger. These creatures love to take dusty baths. Sparrows can live for about 10 years.
4. A sparrow couple raises at least two broods with the incubation period lasting for only 11 days. The younglings leave the nest after two weeks.
5. The differentiating point between the male and female sparrows is their shade. Female sparrows are pale brown and grey in colour whereas male sparrows are slightly darker in shade. They are also a little larger in size than the latter.
Celebrations in India
According to the media reports, on this World Sparrow Day, Lucknow has organised events to raise awareness about sparrow conservation in a fun and interesting manner. Uttar Pradesh’s deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak has launched week-long awareness campaigns and organised competitions and exhibitions in Hazratganj. In addition to this, the organisers of the event will also be distributing nests, bird feed and instruction manuals on what the citizens can do to increase the number of sparrows in their city.
Also Read: How you can help make your Mumbai home, housing colony suitable for your feathered friend