New Delhi: Birds of different species in the national capital region, that is home to over 500 avian species, are suffering because of the waste food being fed to them, as it is against their dietary habits, experts said here.
The 15th century Lodi Garden in central Delhi, one of the capital`s greenest and which has 30 different species of birds, has been battling with this problem.
"People regularly visit the garden and feed them with waste food rich with sugar and salt. This factor has been hampering the health of the birds," Suhas Borker, founder, Green Circle of Delhi told IANS at the India International Centre (IIC) Wednesday evening.
The problem was highlighted during a discussion on "Saving the environmental space for birds in Delhi" organised by Green Circle of Delhi to celebrate 78 anniversary of Lodi Garden.
"The gardens are a natural habitat for the birds, otherwise they are not disturbed but due to such food being fed by the walkers the birds have been falling sick," said Jitendra Kaushik, assistant director horticulture division, Lodi Garden.
A doctor present at the discussion also highlighted that because of such feeding the birds also lose their colours and develop cancerous tumours.
"People come to my hospital saying that the feathers of their parrots are not green. It is because they are not getting the right kind of food. Birds should be fed with grains and water," Sunil Kumar Bhat, veterinarian-in charge, Charity Bird`s Hospital said.
Bhat also highlighted that the earthen pots in which the birds are fed with water should be replaced with steel and aluminium pots.
"Not only should the pots be replaced but antiseptic solution should also be added in it. This makes it safe not only for the birds but also the human being," added Bhat.
Bhat also said that pigeon-feeding - that has become a fad all over the capital - was a major concern on the hygiene front and posed health hazards and people needed to be made aware of that.
A member of the Delhi Bird Group V.K.Sethi also said that the birds apart from this also face threat from dogs who move around in the sanctuary. "During my one of those birding sessions in the Ohkla bird sanctuary I myself have witnessed dogs killing the birds. Such animals should be immediately taken out from such habitats," told Sethi.
Delhi Bird Group is a community where people come together engage in birding and create awareness among the locals about the different species of birds.
Delhi NCR is the second largest megapolis in the world after Panama in Central America to have 518 different species of birds, according to the Delhi Bird Group.
While protecting the bird is what the experts have been working for but stresses that government needs to make special effort to protect the wetlands where the migratory birds visit the city.