Nagpur: When we were out for a walk in VNIT campus and in fact admiring all the avian beauty and variety on view, we got a call from my mother. “Where are you? Come quickly, a black and white Robin chick has fallen from its bird house (hanging from a wall in our garden) and cannot fly on its own. I am standing watch over it so cats don’t kill it..” This was dire emergency indeed! We rushed back, joined by a friend. It had become dark and we could not spot the little bird at the spot pointed by my mother. After much careful scrutiny and on a hunch we found it half a feet up from the ground hiding in the foliage of a little bush. Smart bird realized remaining on the ground would have been more fatal. It was easy to gently detach it from there and put it back in the bird house…its parents who had been hovering around protectively squeaked their thanks and flew off.
There are many such examples of other common birds like laughing dove, blue-tailed bee-eater cattle egret, owl, kite and Asian koels being rescued from different parts of Nagpur by bird lovers and vounteers of various bird lovers’ organizations.
As we have noticed, summer-monsoon seasons are bird breeding seasons and many birds we do not see the whole year round are spotted in our garden and in our area in these months. They seek out ‘safe havens’ to breed and once their offspring learn flying and become independent, fly off again. But the merciless seasons: scorching summers and violent monsoons can be brutal to the fledglings as well as their parents. In the heat, we should leave bowls of water in our gardens and balconies for our ‘flying guests’….in rains, all you can do is keep vigil and save souls in distress you find.
Raju Kasambe from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) said small birds were more prone to injuries during monsoons. “As Nagpur has good green cover, many birds nest inside the city. The young ones of birds like egrets, herons, crows and Asian koel are more prone to accidents as monsoon is also breeding season for many,” he said.
Founder director of Wild-CER Dr Bahar Baviskar informed that there had been an increase in number of rescue calls this month. “Due to heavy rains or winds, nests of birds get destroyed. Sometimes, birds also lose their way finding their nest and get famished. Unavailability of food is another reason behind such cases,” he said.
… Sunita Mudliyar