ALAPPUZHA: The thirsty birds have found a haven on the premises of bird watcher Harikumar’s house at Mannar here during the summer months. Flocks of mynas, bulbuls, coucal, a lovely pair of treepies and golden orioles have come in to enjoy the green foliage and drink from the bowls of water filled by the family in their vegetable garden. ‘They come here from 11a.m. and take off by 2 p.m.,’ Harikumar said. He has been helping the birds every summer for a decade. But this year he set up the water facility from January itself due to the lack of rain. Earlier, there were local ponds which have now disappeared . Lots of birds can’t stand the summer heat and lose their strength to fly due to dehydration, he said.
In Haripad, a group of youngsters under the banner of Muslim Students Federation, launched a new campaign, “Pravakalkoru Neerkudam’ ( a water pot for birds ) the other day and set up bird bath facilities with earthen pots at five places. Saddam Hussein, district secretary, MSF, said they were planning to set up such facility in at least 60 places across Haripad. Dr B. Sreekumar, president, Kottayam Nature Society, said birds like babblers and bulbuls want to take bath every day. Since most water bodies have either vanished or dried up, birds are falling victims to the heat, he said. He appealed to the people to take care of animals and birds in the scorching weather as sources of water were getting scarce. “Most water bodies have either vanished or dried up, birds are left with little choice’, he points out.
When the alarming drought situation being witnessed these days, the peopl have to pledge to take care life of animals and birds. Because urbanisation has not only caused their habitat destruction, but also clean sources of water are getting increasingly scarce. People can hang the water pots from trees or in balconies. The water remains cool and hence it’s very effective in preventing dehydration in birds in extreme heat’, he points out.