Chinmayisk's Weblog

{March 17, 2013}   Water and Birds

Every year i travel to various parts of the country to observe the winter migration of birds. During my travel this year I observed some  ground realities . I had heard several people talking about India  facing huge water crisis .There had been reports  of severe water scarcity in several regions of the country . But nothing prepared me for the stark reality I saw in various places.The lakes and rivers which were  full during my earlier visits had completely dried up this year .This was the situation in January. One can only imagine how harsh the summer is going to be .The issue of water shortage is likely to become more prominent over the coming decades as the world’s population rises and economic activity increases.

water and birds 1

Our reckless usage has not only created trouble for us.The birds and animals are also at the receiving end of this crisis. These creatures who earlier turned to rivers, lakes and ponds to quench their thirst , breed and feed have no where to go. This has led to a lot of changes in animal behavior  .

rosy pelicansfb

India is a home to a lot of winter migrants  who fly year after year to  breed and bring up their young ones. Due to the changing global temperature the migrants have started coming in late and leaving early leading to lesser breeding and dwindling populations. According to a report by BNHS and BirdLife international a shocking  45 to 88 percent of bird species are expected to decline in the near future.Birds act as seed carriers and  natural insecticides.They are an integral part of our  forests ecosystems , urban ecosystems and the farming communities . The decline in their number  have frightening repercussions like huge food shortage .

Unfortunately , the solution to the  problem of water shortage is highly complicated and requires regulation of water usage at various levels. The saying in hindi that goes as “Boondh Boondh se sagar banta hai” ( loosely  translated to an ocean is formed by collection of droplets of water)  makes sense here. Each one of our efforts makes a difference to the situation. India’s per capita daily consumption is around 135 liters now and is expected to grow to 170 liters.With conscious usage  and adaption of  methods of water reuse and recycle (read more here ). We can do wonders .

There is one more small gesture we all could do this summer. Place a bowl of water on your compound wall , terrace or window sills .

bulbul by waterflycatcher by waterorange headed trush by water

( the images of these birds in water bowl were taken by my friend Raj Mohan M R .This was shot at his house in karkala , India  .)

This  will not only function to quench the thirst of these birds and animals .It  will also create a vibrant environment around your homes.This will  ensure  your mornings to be filled with colorful birds and their melodious songs.

et cetera