WHERE HAVE ALL THE SPARROWS GONE?

Avian minnows. Brown, beady-eyed, chirruping hoppers. So numerous in my childhood, so not-seen nowadays.

I see proud-chested pigeons. Puffing, preening, primping. Grey with fluorescent necks. Meek, docile, mild. Dropping plenty of their tell-tale poop all over.

I can see murders of crows. Raucous, black, glistening, circling away in their hundreds. Attacking stray pieces of strewn garbage.

There’s cawing and cooing, but no chirping or cheeping.

I see majestic kites, gliding high overhead, riding the air currents, eyesight as sharp as their beaks and talons, on the lookout for carrion.

Parrots. In the mornings. CamouflagedΒ among the green canopy outside my window. Happy, carefree and noisy.

The occasional koels. Their warbling heard, more than themselves being seen. Even mynahs.

Sea birds. Long spanned, long billed and long legged. Flying in formation. Or seeking the fruits of the sea, while wading.

Assorted migratories.

Bats, stealthy ghosts that scare the heck out of me, come twilight.

Unidentified wagtails and pretty whatchamacallits, hopping, bobbing, pecking.

But where have all the sparrows gone?

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42 Comments

  1. It was a wonderful read about the birds Kunal. Though the sparrows have dwindled in great numbers over the years, we are lucky to have them here. They come into our balcony and keep chirping. It is such a welcome sound to hear. Not only sparrows, we have a few other species of birds too, the names of which I am not aware. In the adjacent vacant plot there is a group of peacocks. We spot them at times when they perch up on the rocks.
    I had written a small poem the first time I spotted a sparrow in our balcony. Sharing its link.
    https://radhikasreflection.wordpress.com/2016/06/05/sparrow/

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    1. Thanks, R! You’re lucky then, I guess, in Bangalore (right?). Mumbai is terrible now, with rampant construction. I read that the heat reflecting off these new fangled glass towers, is too intense for the birds – I know that I get a headache whenever I walk past

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      1. I am at Hyderabad. When we moved in here it was so open with such great natural rock formations. Now every other day huge machine comes to bulldoze those rocks, and a new building stands in its place within no time. Its only a matter of time when Hyd too will be following Mumbai!!

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  2. Sir, are you looking for the right birds? πŸ˜‰ On a serious note though, I sympathise. For me, nature is nourishment for the soul. The scene of urbanisation you describe sounds too much and I guess the disappearance of the sparrows tells you that.

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  3. Everything around these days is so different and unfamiliar. .. diminishing sparrows is all part of the new unfamiliar world I suppose. .change progress etc always comes at some price for sure …as always well written piece kunal …sumi

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  4. I am blessed to have a sparrow serenade each morning.
    They start early…around 5 a.m. and they continue until nightfall.
    When Mother Nature says ‘lights out’ a few adventurous ones continue
    to sing, so not only do I get up to music, I go to sleep to their song
    also. It is a joy. The photo is a treasure. It is so lifelike I expect it
    to burst into song at any minute.

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