Skip to content Skip to navigation

Sparrows buy home in Guwahati

  • Sparrows guwahati
    Sparrows guwahati

While rapid urbanization has taken a toll on the population of tiny sparrows in the cities all over the world, the picture in Guwahati -- the capital city of Assam-- is different. Here, thousands of sparrows are seen adapting to urbanization. Further, their numbers are also on an increase in this northeastern city. Mubina Akhtar, a environment journalist and activist surveyed the birds through 2011 and the last year and said the bird has adapted to a much harsh lifestyle. She revealed that her survey, carried over a period of two years, found community roost of the bird in the residential as well as commercial hubs in the city. Akhtar reported about a community roost of some thousands of sparrows in the Asomiya Pratidin last August. The roost on the busy GS road was the biggest she came across. A more recent report of Akhtar published in the 'Huffington Post' blog says that "modern life-styles notwithstanding, the house sparrow is going to stay and continue to be a "hanger-on of man, as I see the bird slowly adapting to a life in the concrete slabs! It is neither the mud-and-thatch dwelling (a rarity), nor the match box. Rather, the bird has learned the art of carving out a comfortable niche of its own in the little openings of the concrete slabs of the city's flyovers!"

A Bombay Natural History Society's survey titled "Citizen Sparrow", found that the once-ubiquitous sparrows are now seen in fewer places than in 2005. "Where they are still found the numbers are lower than earlier observed and fewer nests are seen as well. This suggests sparrows have indeed declined and the low number of nests might mean that they are continuing to decline" said the report. On contrary to this report the number and nests are increasing. Sparrows are the most widely-distributed birds in the world. They nest in urban or rural settings wherever they find human habitation.

Factors like dwellings, eating and living habits of the people and land-use could be impacting the availability of shelter and food for the sparrows. The lifestyles of people of rural and semi-urban areas seem to be more conducive for the survival of the birds. Chandan Kumar Duarah, a science writer and conservation expert says that the availability of Assam type houses and trees in many areas of Guwahati make favorite haunts for the sparrows. In Chandmari area the density of sparrows are highest only because of trees and Assam-type houses in the area. In Bhangagarh they are living in remaining trees and adapting in concrete structures including multi- storied buildings, commercial and official flats. He said that pests, worms and other insects which are main food for sparrows are available in the city due to its tropical geographical position but the food system is threatened due to rampant uses of chemicals and toxic wastes exposed to the city’s soil and water.

Akhtar said that she has already undertaken an awareness campaign so that the people don't cut down the trees where the birds are taking shelter. "The deodar trees that sheltered a large roost once were cut down in the Bhangagarh area. When I enquired about the reason, the host simply replied that it was because of the droppings!" Akhtar lamented.

Photos: Mubina Akhtar

Author info

Raktim Baruah's picture

Journalist based in Guwahati. Mobile: 9706390337. Email: raktimbaruah20@gmail.com

Add new comment

Republish

Republish this content

Mushroom consumption: 4 died in Dergaon

3 Apr 2008 - 8:57pm | editor
In yet another case of mushroom consumption, four people died on Thursday morning in upper Assam’s Dergaon area. According to information, the incident took place at Badulipara area when four members of the same family consumed mushroom. Details are awaited. Notably, five people of a same family recently died in a similar case in Rajmai area in Sivasagar area.

Conference on North East at JNU

25 Feb 2014 - 5:54pm | Dr. G Amarjit

The North East India Studies Programme, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi is organizing a three day International Conference on “State and Society in North East India” from February 26-28, 2014, at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The conference is supported by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi and JNU. Thirty research scholars from India and abroad will participate in this conference.

The conference seeks to explore how the modern Indian state as legal-rational authority transforms, develops and governs polities and societies of North East India. This conference will also attempt to explore how the people of the region experience and interpret the state in their everyday life.

An additional focus of the conference would be on state practices and reactions or resistances of the people to the state-making practices in historical and contemporary times. The processes of electoral democracy, neoliberal economic policies and how these processes have brought different dynamics to the state-society relations, increasing demands for reservation and autonomy will also be discussed.

The conference will be inaugurated by Justice Mukundakam Sharma, Former Chief Justice, Delhi High Court.

 

Organized by
North East India Studies Programme
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi

26-28 February 2014
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Farmer commits suicide

23 Jul 2017 - 10:27pm | Raktim Baruah

In a horrifying development, a poor flood-affected and differently able farmer of Bordowatop locality in Marigaon district committed suicide on Sunday. The farmer, identified as Kamal Nath, reportedly hanged himself in a temporary camp set-up for flood-affected people of the locality. Family members of the deceased, who have also taken shelter in the camp, informed the police that the farmer killed himself under utter frustration arisen out of the destruction of his home and livelihood in the recent flood. The flood waters completely washed away recently sowing crop of his field. The local people demanded to provide adequate compensation to the family of the farmer. It is to be noted that the recent flood destroys crops of more than one lakh hectares land across the state. But the state government is yet to announce compensation to the flood-affected farmers. Meanwhile, the farmers of the flood receding areas have demanded the government to provide them seedling as early as possible.