Zee Media Bureau/Udita Madan
New Delhi: Do you miss the chirupping of sparrows outside your window when you wake up in the morning? We're sure you must have noticed how sparrows have slowly vanished from view since the past few years.
Even though reports related to the growth of the sparrow population have been doing the rounds, a new report in the Times of India says that its a tad too early to say that, according to bird experts.
This report comes on a day celebrated as World Sparrow Day.
March 20th is a day designated to celebrate house sparrows. Ever since the threat to their population is growing at an alarming rate, the Nature Forever Society of India in collaboration with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France) and numerous other national and international organisations across the world took a step toward taking this international initiative.
House sparrows can be easily recognized because they live very close to humans. This small bird originates from North Africa, but it has been successfully introduced to North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Once found in huge numbers across the world, the small bird is slowly making its way to the endangered list.
Since, birds, animals and human beings need to co-exist in this world, we bring you a few interesting facts about house sparrows! Read on.
1. Males and female house sparrows can be easily distinguished by the feather coloration: males have reddish backs and a black bib, while females have brown backs with stripes.
2. Sparrows are actually carnivores (meat-eaters) by nature, but they have slowly changed their eating habits ever since they learned to live close to people. Sparrows primarily eat moths and other small insects, but they can also eat seed, berries and fruit.
3. Sparrows usually fly at the speed of 24 miles per hour. When needed (in the case of danger), they can accelerate to the speed of 31 miles per hour.
4. Although sparrows do not belong to the group of water birds, they can swim very fast to escape from the predators.
5. Sparrows are allegedly monogamous. Recent genetic analysis showed that only small percent of eggs contains DNA of both parents (in other words: both male and female are prone to infidelity).
6. Sparrows can survive between 4 and 5 years in the wild.
7. Sparrows are very social and they live in colonies called flocks.
8. House sparrows are non-migratory, but urban flocks traditionally moved to the countryside in the late summer to feed on the ripening grain fields.
9. Attesting to the fact that it is not a water bird, the House Sparrow bathes itself in dust instead. It normally throws soil and dust over itself as though it were taking a bath in water.
10. House Sparrows are said to eat anything. According to the Handbook of Texas Online, they are known to eat over 830 different foods!