House sparrow House sparrow is a harmless social, small and lovable bird. It can be seen anywhere in our surrounding. In recent years, it is one of the endanger species. It has played an important role in urban environment. The main reasons for being endanger species is due to some reasons such as lack of food and lack of nesting place. Generally sparrows are plump, brown-grey birds with short tail, small, powerful beaks and stubby. The female and male can be easily differentiated; the female have brown colour with eye stripe while the male have black throat white cheeks and black bib. The average size of sparrow is 14-16 cm and weight is 26-34 grams. It is a small bird_ legs are short.

Food Habit and habitat:

The diet of sparrows consists of grain seeds, especially these grain seeds are from the animal feed stock and waste. Another source of diet of sparrows is larva of mosquitoes, small butterfly and garbage chunk by human and small insects. They also prefer yellow colour flowers and fruits etc in spring season. The house sparrow prefers to live in old structure building for shelter and roosting. They build their nests in sun shades, lofts, exhaust holes, hanging basket, shrubs, garden trees and kitchens.

Importance of Sparrow

Every organism has its own role to play and participate in this planet. The small birds play an important role in the environment.

Plant Pollination: The house sparrow plays an important role in the plant pollination and fertilization of flowers. The house sparrow visits various types of flowers for food in a day. At the end the sparrow is very important for our environment as well as for us.

Maintain the Ecological Balance: House sparrow is very important for various food webs and rural and urban food chains. It feeds on larva of mosquitoes, dragon fly and small insects etc. and also feed on wheat grains, rice, pieces of bread and some fruits. In 1850, thousands of trees are destroyed due to the attack of green inch worms in New York City park, the house sparrow was introduced Brookly institute United State to this park for the control of this worm. Now the sparrow is common in U.S. This small bird is also preferred for the natural pest control process.

Brings Prosperity: The house sparrow brings prosperity for us, our children always observe the movement of this small lovable sparrow and sing songs related to this small sparrow to entertain themselves.

Every Creature Plays a Part In the Ecosystem Preserve Biodiversity

Reasons for population decline

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) the house sparrow is listed in red book which is an alarming for us. There are many reasons for the decline of house sparrow, these are given below

Lack of food: In searching of food such as insects, grains etc the house sparrow flocks fly around 1-2 miles in a day. In modern era, the life style of many peoples have changed and tend to buy pre cleaned or dried thing. Now a days, the chance of drying and cleaning the different types of grains in front of balconies, top floor and house is very rare. The changed behaviour of man has led to food scarcity for the tiny social birds. Many corner shops has been closed due to the establishment of modern developmental stores where everything is available in packed form. The other main factor is the availability of minute insects feed which became the minimum due to the excessive use of dangerous insecticides. According to the recent survey the house sparrows are observed near the less fertilized, organic fields and perching at that place for the food.

Loss of Habitat: Loss of habitat is a main primary factor for the declining of house sparrow. Due to loss of habitat the tiny birds_ house sparrow is eliminated from the houses and streets. Due to the modern technologies the old structure building have been altered to the modern structure building where the tiny birds don’t find their nests for their survival.

Modern societies: In the modern era, the lifestyle of many peoples has been changed. Mostly the luxurious life style peoples want tiny birds to be inside the building not outside for free living birds. The new landscaped gardens and construction of buildings are not friendly for all tiny birds such as house sparrow. The modern box shapes are very important for the nests of many tiny birds. According to the recent studies, the unleaded petrol may have a significant impact on the sparrow decline populations. Because the combustion of the unleaded petrol to produce  methly nitrate (CH3NO3) which is highly dangerous for the minute or small insects pests of crops. These insects are a major diet for the small birds such as sparrows.

Loss of Tree Canopy: In the modern era of development we construct mega buildings, city government tent and mega bazar to enlarge the width of road sides_ without understanding the ecological importance of urban trees_ trees are cut down or ignoring the reality.

Cell phone towers: The environmentalist says that the house sparrow is badly affected to the impacts of microwave from the tower. According to the Encyclopedia of environmental health stated that the eggs of house sparrow are badly affected due to the magnetic waves.

Modern Agriculture: Higher use of pesticides affects the wildlife (birds), environment and human. The bird’s habitat is also affected due to the higher use of pesticides. The pesticides cause the behavioral changes, loss of safe habitat and local extinction.

Pollution: Air pollution, oil pollution and water pollution have highly significant impacts on the bird’s populations. Many small birds are killed due to the oil spill. Poor quality of air due to chemicals and smog can have a significant effect on the bird population. The bird populations are also effected due to the water pollution because water pollutants can reduce the amount of O2 in water and many birds rely on the fish population for their survival.

Steps to save the sparrow:

It is the great time to take some efforts to save the small, lovable, social, beautiful and harmless birds for the environment and for ourselves. The little efforts may have great impacts on the life of the house sparrow.

  1. Installation of small boxes for the sparrow in stair cages, balconies and around the window where there are maximum chances of visit of sparrow.
  2. Place a small bowl for water near the sparrow nests area to drink or bath. In the summer season this may help the small birds to avoid the dehydration.
  3. To spread over the rejected household grains rather than dump them in dust bin.
  4. To maintain your vehicle to minimize the pollution.
  5. Use of high quality fuels and tries of minimizing the pollution.

This article is collectively authored by Rao M. Sajjad Sharif1*, Ashfaq Ahmad2 and Syed Zia-Ul-Hassan3.1Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad. 2Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture Faisalabad. 3Department of Horticulture, University of Agriculture Faisalabad.