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J D Vidyapathi - Koodal Nagar Housing Board colony Koodal Nagar Madurai Tamil Nadu

I have started spotting squirrels during this period. We had just shifted from Ennore to Madurai after my retirement. I also observed that the sparrow population has started dwindling during this period. From 2002, unfortunately, I could not sight any sparrows in our locality, while the squirrel population was on the rise. This is the case till now (2012).


J D Vidyapathi - Koodal Nagar Housing Board colony Koodal Nagar Madurai Tamil Nadu

Full-grown trees started coming up in the locality.


J D Vidyapathi - Ennore Thermal Power Station Quarters - Camp-1 ETS Colony 1, Ennore Chennai Tamil Nadu

During this period too, I could not find any sparrows in our campus. So, I came to a conclusion that wherever I find sparrows, I find no squirrels, and vice-versa. In other words, the squirrels displace sparrows and do not co-exist. I would also say that the sparrow population is dwindling and the squirrel population is on the increase.
These are my personal views / findings over a wide range of period and if they are found to be true and acceptable, what the sparrows need to sustain their living is human dwellings and a squirrel-free atmosphere. Can the bird conservationists provide such a kind of natural environment? Also, more importantly, can this be done without harming the squirrels?



J D Vidyapathi - Ennore Thermal Power Station Quarters - Camp-1 ETS Colony 1, Ennore Chennai Tamil Nadu

I am running 70. From my childhood, I have always been fascinated by house-sparrows though I am not an avid bird watcher. Time and again, I find diverse opinions appearing in the media about the slow disappearance of these sparrows. In this connection, I want to share some of my views with the bird conservationists with regard to its slow disappearance. Read on.

In places where I stayed for a long period, say 10 years or so, initially, I used to find these birds in abundance - only to slowly disappear as the years went by. I could also observe that this happens, even though there is little or no change in the building-structure or other environmental factors but for the growth of trees around the house.
The growth of the trees around the house, slowly welcomed a new mammal species – the squirrel – to dwell around us. The food habits and the nestling habits of both sparrows and squirrels appear to be almost similar. Once the squirrels set in, they are found to steal the building materials from the ‘debris-like’ sparrow nests, as they too need the same material for building their home to raise their offspring. As such, due to the intrusion of squirrels, the sparrows get disturbed and thereby appear to leave their place of dwellings in a phased manner. The sparrows are helpless in bringing up their chicks and this phenomenon of inability is probably another major reason for the dwindling away of the sparrow population.

Sparrows dwelled initially and were later displaced by squirrels during my stay in multi-storeyed buildings, all through. I had fed the same ‘non-organic or pesticide-ridden’ grains to squirrels and found no ill effects on them. Also, the disappearance of the house-sparrows is a much earlier phenomenon than the emergence of communication towers. Therefore, in my view, multi-storeyed buildings, pesticide residues and communication towers are not the only reasons for the dwindling away of the sparrow population.



J D Vidyapathi - Ennore Thermal Power Station Quarters - Camp-1 ETS Colony 1, Ennore Chennai Tamil Nadu

Trees around my house were almost fully-grown. I started observing a few squirrels too, during this period.