Wednesday, April 09, 2014

H- House Sparrows

H- House Sparrows
Mobile musings - the theme for this A to Z
challenge features a blog with pictures
clicked by me on my mobile phone 
In the 1980’s when we were little kids growing up in Pune, Simpoo and Dimpoo shared our bedroom in the winters.  They slept on the crevices of the wooden plank high on the ceiling that was nailed up to form a clothes lining. Simpoo and Dimpoo were house sparrows that flew away in the mornings with the first rays of the sun and flew into the house through the ventilator above the windows as the sun set and the winter chill set in.  They cuddled each other as they slept sharing the warmth of their bodies with each other as unlike the kids who slept in the beds below with warm quilts to cover themselves up.

In those days House Sparrows were so common that one never thought twice about them.  They were everywhere. They chriped, built nests on trees, pecked on the sack of grains at the grocer's shop till someone shooed them away and were just all over the place. Little did we think that their population would be decimated in just a few decades. 
Wikipedia – the most unofficial and yet the most dependable source of information says thus about the dwindling population of house Sparrows.   
Various causes for the dramatic decreases in population have been proposed, including predation, in particular by Eurasian Sparrowhawks;electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones; and diseases. A shortage of nesting sites caused by changes in urban building design is probably a factor, and conservation organisations have encouraged the use of special nest boxes for sparrows. A primary cause of the decline seems to be an insufficient supply of insect food for nestling sparrows. Declines in insect populations result from an increase of monoculture crops, the heavy use of pesticides,the replacement of native plants in cities with introduced plants and parking areas, and possibly the introduction of unleaded petrol, which produces toxic compounds such as methyl nitrite.
Protecting insect habitats on farms, and planting native plants in cities benefit the House Sparrow, as does establishing urban green spaces.
One tends to believe that or some of these reasons could be true because spotting a house sparrow these days is indeed very rare.  

House Sparrow
Florence, Italy. Feb 2013
Picture shot on Panasonic DNC LZ8

These pictures were clicked in Florence just outside the Uffizi Gallery  where the house Sparrows were chirping away to glory.
Possibly because there are no vehicles that use unleaded petrol and produce methyl nitrite around these historical places. However this place does not escape mobile radiation. Then how come they breed in a touristy place like Florence and  not in Bangalore.

House sparrow potrait
Picture shot on Nokia 520
April 2014

I was aimlessly window shopping at an Oxfam charity shop when I came across this framed sketch of House sparrows. They were a set of 5 such sketches of different birds. I could not afford to buy the entire set, but this one I could not resist.

House Sparrows Sketch by Munn - 1956
Pciture shot on Nokia 520
April 2014
A sketch  done by the artist in the year 1956. Looks so real when you look with the naked eye that to me felt like Simpoo and Dimpoo come alive. It adorns one of the walls of my Balcony, in my creepy little forest as a tribute to that cute cuddly pair who brought such simple joys to our childhood days in Pune.    

To raise awareness of threats to the House Sparrow, World Sparrow day has been celebrated on 20th March across the world since 2010.  This summer put aside some water and grains outside your balcony. 
Around my place sadly there are no more house sparrows, but pigeons and squirrels abound. They are dependant on us and who knows, we in some indirect manner are probably interdependent on them as well. 

1 comment:

  1. I remember house sparrows being all around when I was little in Hungary. We even have a classic cartoon about a boy that gets turned into one. That will be my post for V on my blog :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Tales of colors
    <a href=">MopDog</a> - The crazy thing about Hungarians...


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