GUEST COLUMN: World Sparrow Day and The Fate of Common Sparrow in Punjab

March 20 is the World Sparrow Day – a day designated to raise awareness of the common house sparrow and other common birds to urban environments, and of threats to their populations. This is an international initiative by the Nature Forever Society of India in collaboration with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France) and numerous other national and international organizations across the world.

In Punjab, houses and buildings have long been the natural habitats of sparrows. But, the rise of the human population and the trend to make houses pest-free, have led to a great threat to the very survival of this tiny, man-friendly bird.

In the old times, farmers used to take out the oxen to plow their fields with the chirping of sparrows and housewives used to start their work of weaning by putting churning stick in the milk. 

At that time, the houses were not cemented, so roofs would be made by plant stalks under which sparrows used to hide and make nests. But in these days, no space has been left for sparrows to hide and make nests because of the concrete and cemented roofs.

So, where sparrows would go and where do they heat their eggs?

A few years ago, clusters of sparrows were seen flying in the sky. But these days, sparrows are not visible anywhere in the villages. 

Now, after sparrows; crows, woodpeckers, doves, magpies, parrots, vultures, hawks, black sparrows and other birds are also disappearing.

It’s the need of the hour to come forward and make efforts to provide space to make sparrows live and survive freely. Otherwise, these birds will disappear soon.