just another victim


where are you?

there was a time when a sparrow flying in the window and getting trapped in the house for a few minutes was not a noteworthy event. i can even remember coming to karachi in the summers and often waking up in the morning to the chirps on the window ledge. and the call of the koyal, the purring type noise the pigeons mke and of course the crows.

somewhere over the years these birds have been disappearing on us. the carrion eating crows are still there – and they will be until long after we disappear – but the others aren’t there any more. i haven’t heard a koyal for months and the only time i see sparrows nowadays is in those bags on the signals that jamash mentioned. where have they all gone?

i haven’t read any wildlife study or anything on this but the gradual disappearance of the sparrow from the few treetops there are in karachi shoud be a cause of concern. my own guess is an increase in the “diesel” content in our atmosphere. or maybe its just the shift in trends. i don’t know many people who bother to put the little earthenware dish with the water in it on their windowsills any more. children no longer to the park and ask their parents for some bajra or whatever it was that we used to throw out for the birds.

the sparrow is just another victim to our increased pace of life. where are we going? more importantly, at what cost?

13 Comments so far

  1. Faisal (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 2:03 am

    I think its happenning to ur locality only.

    we live in gulshan and we still see plenty of birds.
    My family gets a big sack of ‘laal Chawal’ every month. the birds love it. we used to buy it for our rooster but that poor thing is long gone. but the birds remain and they love this Laal Chawal. We get plenty of sparrows, maina and other birds including the pesky crows.

  2. Xill-e-Ilahi (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 2:11 am

    nothing would please me more than being wrong on this one, faisal. nice to know people are still doing that birdfeeding thing.

  3. zeeshan (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 4:34 am

    i think every one has some childhood memories
    attached with sparows like i used to sneak into their nests made in half opened windows of my appartment. (ahh i want that time back)

  4. Dee (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 7:05 am

    Ah the childhood memories.I remember once(7 years old)peeking inside sparrow’s nest and amazed to see 3 tiny hairless babies, chirping their throat out.Their mother was out to get some food and me and little brother of mine decided to feed those babies raw rice and spoon full of water.what happened next morning , gave me the nightmares for a very long time.we found babies on the floor lying dead.My mother then told us sparrow’s dont keep the babies after people’s touch.

  5. Checkmate (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 9:51 am

    I go to Nisar Shaheed for a walk in the morning and see quite a few birds there. Someone has put a few bowls of water and bajra in one corner of the parking lot. Near my apartment there is a triangle which fortunately cannot be used for parking so the shop owners have started feeding pigeons there. You can see quite a few of them in the morning and afternoon . But yes there is a decline in the bird population. It is bound to happen with agressive tree cutting campaigns, constant urbanisation and pollution. We have to take better care of our environment and the little greenery we have left in Karachi.

  6. Zain (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 10:57 am

    OMG, I can recall when a neighbour fought with me because my falcons attacked his pigeons and ate them all.

  7. Zag (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 11:02 am

    Faisal’s right, there are plenty where I live…. we even have a birdfeeder which we fill up with “bajra” and the birds love it….. we get all kind, mostly sparrows, some pigeons and a few koyals as well and an occasional lost parrot….. love their sound on Sunday mornings when it is quiet and peaceful and you can really hear the birds singing away…

  8. Zag (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 11:05 am

    Oh, and the logical explanation about the sparrow flying in the window thing you mentioned in the post is that nowadays most people have air conditioners and the windows are closed, before that was a rarity…

  9. Jamash (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 11:52 am

    I remember when I was young a sparrow flew into our fan and hurt it’s wing, We had applied turmeric and “tencher Iodine” to it and after a few days if flew off.

    There are plenty of sparrows in Gulshan-e-Iqbal where I live, Usually these birds seek for food in trees and plants, and they don’t like over populated places and eagles, may be the place where you live does not have many trees or plants. I remember we used to see lots of squirrels in our garden when I was young but now I don’t see any, but when ever I visit Safari Park in the morning I find plenty of them.

  10. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 1:14 pm

    When living in KDA, I was so used to Koel’s singing that we/my family would get irritated that the damn bird doesn’t take any rest. That was almost 20 years ago. Now the last time I heard a koel was on Karsaz Road, coming home, a few days back and that too after many years….that brief rendezvous with a koel’s song really brougt back some beautiful memories.

  11. Tee (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

    after reading your post i instantly focused on sounds outside the window ans yes sure enough there are quite a few birds chirping outside *thankfully* and just a few days back i was marvelling at the koel which rests in our guava tree in the afternoons…
    …..and thanks to the trees at our place, we do get quite a vareity of birds. i have discovered quite a few new birds after shifting to this place :-)

  12. yo yo (unregistered) on June 20th, 2006 @ 8:56 pm

    Relax….a study shows soon most of the world population will move to urban areas. Leaving lands for animals. Its us who are suffering in congested cities.

  13. Razi (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2006 @ 8:53 pm

    @YO YO

    But we must also understand that “most of the world population will move to urban areas” causes the urban areas to expand causing us to encroach into areas of natural habitat. It is unfortunately us humans who do not know how to co-exist. We continue to pollute the waters and the air resulting in extermination of other living beings. The shrinking of Pakistan’s fishing industry is one such example.

    This influx into the urban area naturally takes its toll on us humans too. With the infrastructure of the city stretched beyond limits…no wonder there is lack of water, electricity and mass transit.

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