Severe summer, water scarcity taking a toll on city's bird life

Severe summer, water scarcity taking a toll on city's bird life

The chirping house sparrows and migratory birds are vanishing due to lack of water sources. Birds are also dying due to heat and lack of water across the city.

Hundreds of sparrows, pigeons and parakeets which used to flock to Cubbon Park are rarely seen today. This is due to lack of water sources and drop in the water level at the lone pond located opposite Bal Bhavan.

Pavithra V N, a frequent visitor to Cubbon Park, said: "The number of birds coming to the green lung space has reduced. Also, a number of birds like pigeons and sparrows were found dead recently."

Cubbon Park Walkers’ Association (CPWA) president S Umesh said there were more than 1,000 parakeets a month ago here and now the number has reduced to 500. Similarly, migratory birds like the black-crowned night heron, kingfisher and Rufous babbler used to quench their thirst at the pond. This time, there is not enough water and their visits here are also rare."Vijay Nishanth, an urban conservationist, said harsh weather and dehydration killed a baby kite in Jayanagar recently.

He said: "A few days ago, I visited the Kanakapura Road stretch which has 10 lakes with around 20 water bird species frequenting them. All these water bodies are parched. Why will birds come when there is no water? The heat is more severe this time compared to last year."

Jagadeesh Giri, joint secretary, Yelahanka United Environment Association (YUVA) and a resident of Yelahanka New Town, said the number of birds coming to Ramagondahalli lake, Arakere lake and Vidyaranyapura lake has reduced. He added: “Pelicans and other bird species are no longer visiting the Puttenahalli lake on Doddaballapur Road due to sewage inflow.”

Drop in migratory birds
M B Krishna, a well-known ornithologist, told DH that there has been a 20% decrease in the migratory bird population in the city and 98% decline in land birds in the city over the past 20-30 years. He added: "This is due to urbanisation, mismanagement of parks, depleting greenery and water bodies. I request citizens to keep a bowl of water at their homes for birds."

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