Sparrows in Danger !

female and male sparrows

-Rahul Rohitashwa

Birds are unique animals among the vertebrates. They are our feathered friends. They contribute to the beauty of the natural world. They command our instant attention in a variety of ways. Watching birds and their various activities are beyond doubt a rewarding experience. Therefore it is hard to imagine a world without birds. But after all, we pay scarce attention to their valuable ecological role as saviours of other life forms on earth.

Though we came across many bird species throughout our lifetime the importance of common house sparrow is incomparable in many ways. It is not an exaggeration to state that in our Indian culture common bird species like a common sparrow, common house crow, blue rock pigeons, spotted dove, common myna, pariah kite etc are deep-seated in our minds.

They are the agents or pioneer species through which we encounter nature at our home. Yes, among them the common house sparrow is a very important bird. It is a small widespread resident bird of the Indian sub-continent. In Hindi, it is known as “Goraiyya”. Both male and female are of similar size. While male has a grey crown, black throat and upper breast, chestnut nape and brownish mantle female has buffish super cilium and greyish white under parts. The scientific name of this passerine bird is Passer domestics.

There were days when we used to hear their chirping noise day in, day out. As children, we have witnessed these guests frequenting our homes without any invitations. Not more than 20 to 25 years back these sparrows were regarded as dominant bird species. As usual, farmers used to deter them from eating away their grains from crop plants like paddy and wheat.

These birds were quiet noisy, naughty and sometimes irritating. They were part and parcel our daily life. They used to move through our kitchens, balconies and verandahs without any fear. They usually arrived as couples scanning every nook and corner of our houses and finally adorn our roofs with their simple and grassy nests. In breeding season viewing their eggs and young ones were an added pleasure.

But sadly to state that gone are the days when these beautiful and chirping bird used to roam our homes. Today a single house sparrow is hard to spot. Here a question arises in our mind that where have all those sparrows gone? Today these gentle birds have bid goodbye to not only our home but also cities as well as rural areas. The reducing and vanishing trend in their population is being experienced now in the entire world.

female house sparrow on feeder
According to a study the possible reasons pertaining their declining trend is attributed to our lavish life-styles, modern amenities, abnormal kind our house designs, predation, depletion of food resources, large scale use of pesticides in agriculture and horticulture, man-made pollutions, and the rampant proliferation of mobile towers to name a few.

In recent times in the name of development and rapid urbanization, many old trees have been ruthlessly cut in the cities. Here an important point to be noticed is that these old trees were home to myriad hole-nesting birds such as house sparrows, barbets, rose-ringed parakeets, mynas, Indian grey hornbills, magpies and Indian rollers (Neel Kanth). Which were often found close to human habitations.

Apart from this those old trees were also a symbol of our aged old culture and thus were a cradle of many folklores and religious beliefs. They not only provided soothing greenery but also a source of pure oxygen. Modern lifestyles which encourage the practice of cutting down old trees which are ideal nesting ground of many tree-dwelling birds eventually invites serious ecological imbalances. In addition to this trees suitable for natural nesting are rarely planted. Thus many avian species which were once common to human intimacy such as house sparrow are now disappearing at a faster rate.

To cope with these difficulties some of these species have adapted themselves to the newly developed cityscapes which are vulnerable to many serious hazards and destructions. Changing lifestyles of human beings have replaced the vegetable gardens by ornamental plants that do not support insects which form staple diets of sparrows. Mobile communication stations are also causing serious health hazards like low reproduction rates, low sperm count, pre-mature deaths of juveniles by which the overall population of sparrows is decreasing very fast.

Since time immemorial sparrows form an important link of the natural systems and add beauty to our surroundings therefore they must be protected. To find a solution to this problem conservationists have come up with the novel idea of installing artificial wooden nests boxes which can be easily placed in gardens areas, houses, buildings and apartments. These artificial wooden nests are light and cost-effective.

If they are installed with proper care they can easily attract many birds for roosting and nesting. This will definitely promote birds in rearing their chicks. Not only must these initiatives be made a vital part of urban planning. Although this initiative will not be sufficient for regaining the lost avian species but it can reinforce the young generations to understand and respect these birds which love human intimacies. It is a crying need for us to restore and preserve our natural heritages and gifts of Mother Nature in the best possible manner so that they can live in harmony with us on this earth forever.

Rahul Rohitashwa
Free lance Science Writer: Environment and Wild Life Naturalist, Keen Bird Watcher & Involved in various Nature Conservation Campaign and as well as in Educational Activities. Winner of Prestigious “Earth Eco-Warrior Award- 2008” by the Honorable Vice President of India in the field of Nature and Eco-Conservation activities in Bihar Twice Winner of “Prithvi Mitr (Friends of the Earth)” Award & “Yuva Rashtriya Pratibha Samman” by Earth Matters Foundation and Govt. of Bihar respectively.
Email Id:

keywords: sparrow bird sound, sparrow bird meaning, sparrow bird house, sparrow bird food, sparrow bird information, indian sparrow bird information, myna bird information, house sparrow diet, Sparrow Bird Facts, Pictures Diet and Habitat, sparrow facts for kids, house sparrow interesting facts, 10 lines on sparrow bird, sparrow information for children, essay on sparrow bird for kids, few lines about sparrow bird, special characteristics of sparrow, few points about sparrow,