Monday, 23 January 2012

Success for the Writers and Nature Lovers Forum: Nestboxes bring back the House Sparrow to open market in India

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Wooden ‘nests’ installed at the Connemara Market have apparently become a hit with sparrows. The cages were installed on November 11 to woo house sparrows which were fast disappearing from the city. More than ten of the 20 cages at the market have feathered occupants now, journalist and bird enthusiast C Rahim, convener of Writers’ and Nature Lovers’ Forum, which set up the cages, said.

’One positive trend is that the headload workers, the small traders and customers have taken to the birds. If they find that any of the cages are lying vacant, they shift it to a more suitable spot to woo the birds,’ Rahim said.

’They also find time to spread grain for the birds,’ he added.

The once-ubiquitous house sparrows are not a common sight in market places and other urban centres these days. Rapid urbanisation, disappearance of tiled roofs which offer nesting spots and the change that has happened in the nature of market places have been cited as reasons for their gradual disappearance.

’House sparrows prefer populated places, especially markets, where feed, grain for instance, is readily available. But now shops keep food items in packets. So, feed also is not available as before,’ Rahim said.

It was in this context that the Writers’ and Nature Lovers’ Forum decided to set up the cages.

After monitoring the progress of the Connemara project, the Forum plans to move on to the Chalai market.

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