Chun Chun Karti Aayi Chidiya , Dal Ka Dana Layi Chidiya , such rhymes and several poems about the house sparrow delight not only the young hearts but also those of grown ups .The sweet chirping of the tiny bird is so soothing to the ear and the hopping of this feathered friend in the courtyard , on the roofing or in the garden is a sight so pleasant to watch .
However , the fast declining of number of the common sparrow in Lake City has become a cause of concern not only for conservationists but also the public at large .
The pleasure of watching a mother bird lovingly putting food in the mouth of a young one , a fledging sparrow taking its first flight or a mother hatching eggs in a nest has become a thing of the past . No more feeling of consternation when an egg falls off from a nest or is stolen by a crow as such scenes can no more be sighted .
For missing the once familiar chirping of the sparrows in cities there are several factors . Poor sparrow now has no proper place in the city to build its nest .Shiny glass fronted buildings provide no space for breeding of birds . Cutting of shrubs and medium size trees has also made the situation worse.
The lack of insect food is another reason why sparrows are dying out and this is because of shrinking gardens and parklands in cities like Udaipur. Moreover , these days more and more gardeners prefer exotic plants that are not native to the area they are grown in . Unlike indigenous plants which have evolved symbiotic relationship with other species over thousands of years , these exotic species have turned gardens that may be called Urban Green Desert . Such gardens may be green and lush but they do not support the diversity of life they ought to . They do not allow grass to seed . Without seeds they do not attract insects and in turn the birds that feed on them . Lack of insect food is another factor that contributes to the dwindling number of sparrows .
To boost up production a large number of farmers use pesticides that have been banned in other countries . Sparrow chicks need high protein diet so they eat a lot of insects . Pesticides kill soft bodied insects that sparrow chicks feed on .The adult ones need a diet high on carbs , so they go for grains . Pesticides in grains may also contribute to decline in number of sparrows
Another cause of the fast declining number of sparrows are the mobile towers as they produce electromagnetic radiation of high frequency that runs through the body of birds .This adversely affects the sense of directions system of the birds .This system helps them in tracing nests and the place they can search their food . It has been found that the birds that have their nests near mobile towers , leave their nests within a week .
Unleaded petrol used in cars produces compounds
such as methyl tertbutyl ether that proves poisonous for the insects that sparrows eat.
Air and sound pollution also hamper the growth of chicks.
The battle to bring the sparrow back to the cities has not been lost. Bird lovers have taken several steps to help revive the dwindling number of sparrows. Nest boxes have been put on trees and other places to provide suitable shelter in the fast concretising urban landscape. Containers with grain and water are also being placed for birds.
It is hoped that such measures would go a long way in helping the helpless feathered friends to come back to Lake City.