Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chirping their way to extinction?

World Sparrow Day, 20th March 2012
Sparrow, that tiny little brown bird that we have grown up watching in awe and amazement. The house used to wake up to the twittering and chirping of these numerous birds on the window sill, the lawn trees and jumping in the balconies. My earliest memories of these little birdies go way back to my stay in Allahabad where my dad was posted. The pair had nested just outside of my bedroom window and it was a delight to watch those little perfectly shaped oval almost- white eggs. This was during my summer vacations and my cousins had come over to spend the summer with us. Each day we used to closely watch the eggs and wonder when they will hatch open. No one would dare open that window for the fear of breaking the nest.
The eggs hatched in what seemed years to us children, and really small very vulnerable pink featherless creatures came out of them. It was celebration among us cousins,  all of us around 10 years of age. They grew fast and we monitored their size and tweets almost daily. I used to be mesmerized watching their feet, their little mouths and just simply marvel.
Many years have passed since, and like my childhood those days of innocence and simple joys have given way to a stressful life filled with chores and more chores, keeping up with the business of living. And when I read somewhere that today is the World Sparrow Day my thoughts went back to those little harbingers of joy and song and inevitably to those little babies I had seen growing up on my window sill.
Today when I told my 10 year old about it, he took time to figure out exactly which bird I was talking of. Sadly, this does not point to his lack of knowledge but to the fact that there are so few of them left in Delhi. Delhi skies and terraces seem to be dotted  with  pigeons but sparrows are in short supply so to say. We hardly ever spot them in the park next to my house. I however passed on the little nugget of wisdom to him that my mum had to me. The one with the black beard is a male and the other petite one is the lady.
Though the kids of today don’t have as much leisure time on their hand to endlessly sit and watch birds out on the trees, they would rather be watching Pogo, playing outdoor games on a Wii or reading up on ipad. I just hope that alongwith “vo kagaz ki kashti, vo barish ka paani,…vo chidiyaa, vo bulbul vo titli pakadna…” we don’t have to rue the passing on of the house sparrow.
This post is lovingly dedicated the little House Sparrows. Show your love and save them click on www.worldsparrowday.org 


  1. Apart from the fact that we do not spot them in cities, children of today also do not have time for them! Very good post! I have forwarded to my sons.

    1. True kids these days do not have time for these simple pleasures...so glad you liked the post :)

  2. VEry true...
    Unable to see them in towns as well :(

  3. It's a very sad thing. I also haven't seen them for long

  4. am fortunate to have them twittering away outside our building...

  5. yea,I noticed this change from the last 3 years !!! Some have even started keeping water in a bowl on their Terrance to attract existing sparrows!

  6. I love sparrows and am sad that they are getting sparse...
    A wonderful post Anubha!

  7. I grew up in the northern hills of India and we hardly had sparrows and doves.. I do remember a lot of crows. The times we used to see sparrows and grey doves was when we visited family and friends. I used to wake up early to feed them. Now my daughter has made a bird feeder and we have so many sparrows coming in through the day..

    A beautifully written post to honor the sparrows.

  8. The major cause for vanishing of this bird is telecom towers and their radiations . Sadly we all together have contributed to this cause ....

  9. Interesting…