We can bring them back,” confidently say the founders of Singing Sparrows, a Chennai-based communtiy to save sparrows. Four friends, Navaneetha Kannan, Pavithra, Ansari and Sai Ram, connected over one common interest — nature! Until a few decades ago, every natural setting was complete with a few sparrows flying by. Given that the bird’s population has dropped down hugely, Navaneetha Kannan wished to start a community to spread awareness about the sparrow count and bring them back in every rural and urban setting.
“They are one of the very few bird species that are very close to humans. Sparrows are essential indicators of our environment’s health and balance,” shares Sai Ram.
Stating that the future generation needs to know about sparrows and their habits, without having to search on the Internet, Sai Ram says that the team wants to increase their count. Singing Sparrows, which was established a couple of months back, gifts sparrow nests to anyone who wishes to provide shelter for the bird. The box is built by carpenters, who freelance for the community on a regular basis. “Sighting sparrows in the city has become quite a rare occurrence. If you do sight a sparrow, contact us and get a free sparrow nest for the bird,” shares the team.
A special feature of the box is that, the hole is of a particular size that only sparrows can enter. Other bigger sized birds cannot disturb the nest and eggs that the sparrows have laid. There is also a small opening for sunlight to enter.
“You can hang it in your backyard or garden, where they fly by and thereby the bird count in your area is sure to increase,” says Pavithra. Affirming that they don’t charge for the nest boxes, Pavithra adds, “We are providing these boxes as return gifts at weddings and parties. Since it is in bulk, if the people placing orders can bear the material cost for the wood, it will help us too.”
Celebrities like Pia Bajpai and Sharan Kumar have supported the initiative by sharing videos on social media and more celebrities are expected to endorse the cause. “In just a couple of months, we have given out more than 500 boxes. We are setting up a new office space and we like to make a gradual change,” states Sai Ram.
“As bird watchers, who just missed the balance in nature, we were unsure of how to give back to the eco-system. It took us about a year to plan this, but the response has been overwhelming,” shares Pavithra. “Shelter a sparrow. Give it a home. Let it sing again!” the team says unanimously.