Monthly Archives: March 2014

In Sparrowland !

I had long intended to blog about the fat and plump sparrows that I saw daily, during my one year of happy life at Ooty. As it the #WorldSparrowDay today, I jumped on the occasion to dedicate a post to my little friends.

Sparrows and Ooty

At home

My house was located in a residential area that had a lot of houses clustered together. In spite of this, there was a good amount of greenery around and lots of nook and corners. As a result of this, a variety of birds, especially the House sparrow was seen. Every morning, I would wake up to the chirping of a pair of these sparrows that had built a nest in the EB Box located outside my bedroom window.They were my natural alarm clock! The alarm of a clock would irritate me but these little birds’ chirping was such a delightful sound. I would wake up, go to the window and watch the pair go about their morning duties silently. Unaware of my presence,the birds would rest on the window sill, bump and peck at the glass pane of the window. A day thus begun was always eventful!

Fat sparrow!

One of the pair that nested near my bedroom window – My natural alarm clock!

As I buzzed about in the kitchen, another set of sparrows would pay their daily visit. A creeper grew on the wall next to the kitchen window and the this was a favorite haunt of these birds. They would jump from one branch to the other, chirping to each other. Suddenly one of them would swoop down to the kitchen window and peep in. I would go into silent mode once these sparrows are on the creeper, just to induce them to come into the window. Once they were confident that there was no danger in peeping through the window, I began to leave rice for them to peck. My happiness knew no bounds when finally one of the fat little sparrows, flew in and pecked the rice!

At work

My desk at work was opposite to a window and there were big bushes nearby. These bushes were constantly abuzz with the little birds flying in and out. To work alongside these busy buddies was always a delight!

I would walk back home from work in the evening and I always enjoyed this walk immensely. With the chill air biting at my face and the sun slowly disappearing down the hills, I would walk back home. Very often it rained, but I loved to walk in the rain. As I dragged my tired body up the winding road to my home, the fat little sparrows perched in the bushes and trees nearby would cheer me up considerably. The birds will be there always, no matter if it rained or the sun blazed down.Their chirp-chirp would liven up my spirits and I would forget my worries instantly, I would just stand there and gaze at the fat little busy-bodies – I can never bring about that feeling in words!

Sad state of affairs

Ooty being a hill station had a suitable environment for many birds and that was one reason why the sparrows flourished there. The plains ( especially Coimbatore) are a sharp contrast with regard to the sparrows. Only in the outskirts of the city, far from the congestion of concrete structures, that we are able to sight these tiny birds. People do not want trees anywhere – how will these birds build their nests? Sparrows are fond of nooks and corners in our house verandahs and other such places in the house. But how many of us open up our homes? Almost every home is shuttered up tightly as they prefer privacy and also as every room is air-conditioned. How the hell will these birds survive then?

#WorldSparrowDay is being celebrated by many nature conservation organizations in the city. Rallies, dressing up children as sparrows, distributing pamphlets to create awareness about the need to conserve sparrows are a total waste of resources and time. All I would say is “Open up your hearts and homes to the little birds”. They are an important and integral part of our ecosystem.

Memories of the Himalayan trek – Photo series