Sparrow sitting on the croutons plant in the rain

Sparrows in my Kharghar home

Today the sparrow’s population has come down drastically and in Mumbai, city side they have become a rare sight. There are groups in Facebook for saving the sparrows and everyone is posting their comments but I doubt if there’s any outcome. I used to live in Anushakti Nagar before and there we hardly got to see the sparrows. Crows and Mynas were abundant and so were monkeys. Crows and monkeys destroy the sparrow’s nest and eat the eggs. Hence the sparrows are rare in areas where these are more. When we shifted to Kharghar a few months back we were thrilled to see many sparrows.

Sparrow in our garden

Sparrow in our gard

A sparrow and it’s family have their nest in the first floor of our building.

Sparrow in our building

Sparrow in our building

Every morning we wake up to the chirping of sparrows and the purple-rumped sunbird. Occasionally, the red-whiskered bulbul visits our house.

A red whiskered or red cheeked bulbul on our window

A red whiskered or red cheeked bulbul on our window

Nowadays during the monsoon it has become a regular visitor. It sits outside our window and knocks on it with its beak, keeps dashing against it and playing.  Since we have brown tinted glass on our window (we can see from inside but outsiders can’t see inside during daytime) the bulbul sees its reflection in the glass and pecks at it. It’s very cute to watch!

A pair of Bulbuls in our garden

A pair of Bulbuls in our garden

A pair of bulbuls outside our window

A pair of bulbuls outside our window

The sunbird always sits on the cloths line outside our window and preens and it’s fun to watch it. Initially I didn’t know which bird it was. When I posted the photos in Facebook group Andalucia Bird Society it was identified as purple crested Sunbird by Mr. Peter Jones and Mr. Berge. Mr. Kanwar Singh of Indian Birds group mentioned that it was purple rumped Sunbird.

Sunbird drinking nectar in the garden

Sunbird drinking nectar in the garden

The purple crested or purple rumped Sunbird has a light yellow belly( lower body) and It’s upper body is dark brown. It has a hint of blue at the crown. It has a thin, long, curved beak. It makes sound from the throat without opening it’s beak.

Sunbird on our clothesline

Sunbird on our clothesline

We keep water in a gas trolley and a small mug for the birds in our garden. Ours is a ground floor flat. Sparrows, sun-birds, pigeons, etc.drink water and bathe in the gas trolley since it’s shallow like a bath tub.

Husband-wife pair relaxing in water bath

Husband-wife pair relaxing in water bath

Watching these birds cheers the mind and makes you forget your worries. They sit on the tulsi plant in groups.  

Sparrow eating tulsi seeds from the tulsi plant

Sparrow eating tulsi seeds from the tulsi plant

sparrows in our garden

sparrows in our garden

Navi Mumbai and especially Kharghar is truly a bird watcher’s paradise!

In monsoons these sparrows sit on the window grill under the comfort of the sunshade and protect themselves from the rain. They warm themselves by puffing themselves up. They look like furry little balls.

Sparrows near the 'Tulasi Maadam' on a rainy day

Sparrows near the ‘Tulasi Maadam’ on a rainy day

Sparrow sitting on the croutons plant in the rain

Sparrow sitting on the croutons plant in the rain

All citizens should keep water for the birds in summer. Wooden shelters should be placed in nook or corner of the house and building so that sparrows can build their nest. One can also take a cardboard box, fill it with cotton and twigs and place it on the attic or drying area or verandah – any place which is accessible to sparrows. Spary neem based preparations and avoid chemical pesticides. These harm the sparrow’s reproductive system when it eats the seeds. I request everyone to do their bit to save the house sparrows.

Post has been published from the author’s blog with due permission from the author: VijayaLaxmi Narayanan. All images are a copyright of the author. 

Sparrow sitting on the croutons plant in the rain

How the Sparrow got it’s black patches

When I was in school we used to have a textbook on fables and folk lore in English as a part of our syllabus (CBSE Board). Has anyone wondered why the male sparrow has black patch on the chest, throat and eyes? As I click the photos of the sparrow which I have uploaded in my album on Facebook, I recollect this story.

According to a fable, when God created the sparrows both male and the female looked the same. They married and lived happily together. After sometime the female sparrow got pregnant and she laid the eggs after few months. The male sparrow would search for food and bring it to her. When the eggs hatched both the husband and wife were delighted to see their little babies. The wife said , “Dear, our children are so beautiful. I have a small wish. I want to apply kajal in my eyes so that when the babies open their eyes they should see how beautiful their mother is.” The male sparrow wanted to fulfill his lovely wife’s wish and searched all places for the kajal. But it was not available with anyone.

In the evening when he was returning disheartened the koel asked him what was the matter. He explained his predicament to the Koel. The koel took some of the black from his body and applied it on the sparrow’s throat, neck and eyes. The sparrow thanked him and flew off to his nest. His wife quickly took some of the black and applied it in her eyes. The babies opened their eyes and the sparrows rejoiced.

Later the sparrow went to wash off the black colour from his body but it didn’t go. It became permanent. That’s the reason the male sparrow has black patches while the female sparrow looks like it has applied kajal.

Post has been published from the author’s blog with due permission from the author: VijayaLaxmi Narayanan. All images are a copyright of the author.