Sunday, February 3, 2013
The IUCN's Red List continues to list them as 'least concern', because of their large range and, within that range, their numbers seem to be large enough to be not worried about. If Chennai had a Red List, however, these birds (Passer domesticus) would be heading that list. A generation ago, you were in danger of these birds building a nest in your hair if you stood still for long enough. Today, their nests are not to be seen at all.
First noticed this family at Santhome, just across the road from the AIR station, a few months ago. There were about eight of them, and they weren't too worried about people around them. And then I saw them again yesterday. Didn't watch them for long, but I got the feeling that they were all there. Maybe we've taken them for granted too often for too long; I'm sure you don't believe me when I say they are almost non-existent in Chennai. But think about it, when did you last see one?
If you would like to do something about helping these birds, you can start off with getting them a nest box. You can find the link on this site - and do let us know when the sparrows start using them!