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Saturday, June 23, 2012

House Sparrows Going Extinct?

We have been used to be woken up by the staccato chirping of the house sparrows that jump and trot around the windows in the mornings. They have always been lovable small birds living in our roofs spending the full day with us, but over the years their numbers are getting less and lesser and in most of the towns and cities of India their morning alarms are almost non-existent. Environmental experts all over the world have expressed the fear of the sparrows getting extinct and the species already figure in the endangered list.
Proliferation of the mobile phone towers and increasing pollution are believed to the main reasons for this sad happening. Concrete apartment blocks replacing the traditional independent houses could also be seen as another factor. 
While in Guwahati, Assam we were lucky to see a lot of sparrows in their normal gait and talkativeness, but definitely not to the extent as earlier. But in Nagaon, just two and half hours journey by road from Guwahati, the chirping birds are totally absent despite there being more traditional houses and not many mobile phone towers. In Mumbai the sparrow is extinct and the reasons are all there to see. Crucial factors are likely to come to light as experts go on analyzing.
We did not take them seriously when they were all around us. Now we miss them! We want them to come back and continue waking us up in the morning. 

One Assamese song by Biren Dutta (a famous singer of Assam) of yore comes to the mind. "O’ ghansirika (meaning sparrow, also called gharsirika where ‘ghar’ means house), O’ ghansirika mor sotalot umalohi O’ ghansirika..." (Come O’ my little sparrow, come and play on in my courtyard…).

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