The house sparrow is Bihar’s State Bird, and what are we doing to protect them?
Make your office or home Sparrow friendly
Put bird boxes and bird feeders on your office windows and terraces. Plant hedges in and around your office to convert it into a mini bird sanctuary.
[We have to remember that this little magical bird that is gradually disappearing from our skies and neighborhoods needs immediate help to survive. By bringing it back, we are safeguarding our children’s future for a green and healthy environment.]
The Patna zoo on Sunday celebrates house sparrows and several events are lined up to spread awareness about the bird, which is believed to be under threat and be fast dwindling. The House sparrow was declared Bihar’s state bird on April 16, 2013.
On the eve of World Sparrow Day, the Patna zoo administration in association with The Times of India has organised an event for flying a dummy sparrow ‘drone’ in the zoo. An ongoing photography contest will also conclude here.
The photography competition began on March 13. Participants were to take photographs of sparrows in their neighbourhood and WhatsApp them to 7546811116 or post them on the Facebook page, Patnazoosavesparrow.
Patna zoo director Nand Kishore said the event is being held on March 19 . World Sparrow Day falls on March 20, but the zoo remains closed on Monday.
Forests minister Tej Pratap Yadav is expected to fly the dummy sparrow and also inaugurate a new leopard enclosure on the day.
“We have received around 150 entries to the photography competition. The fifty best entries would be given prizes at a function to be organised later in the zoo. Besides, we have put up posters in 20 schools to spread awareness about the house sparrow among children,” said Nand Kishore.
House sparrows are believed to have originated in the Middle East. They spread along with agriculture to Eurasia and Africa. With the progress in shipping, they made their way across the oceans to the United States.
Britain’s Royal Society of Protection of Birds has included house sparrows on the ‘Red List’ on the basis of research findings in different parts of the world, including India. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has also declared house sparrows as an endangered species.
According to Indian Bird Conservation Network’s state coordinator Arvind Mishra, though the number of house sparrows has reduced considerably in recent years, the situation is still not alarming. “However, there is a need for the authorities to take steps for their conservation. One of the major factors for decline in their number is modern architecture, which leaves little scope for ventilation in our houses,” he said.