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Old 12th January 2011, 15:24   #16
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Default Re: Help birds/ animals survive in cities

Time to shoot the pigeons then?

But if nature makes one bird hardier then the other, then maybe its supposed to be so.

Maybe pigeons are humans of the bird world. Enter new areas, procreate at an alarming rate and carry diseases that will wipe out the other species

Last edited by Spitfire : 12th January 2011 at 15:26.
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Old 12th January 2011, 15:39   #17
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Default Re: Help birds/ animals survive in cities

Another theory on the disappearance of sparrows is around Unleaded fuel.

Denis Summers-Smith's (a world expert on sparrows) theory was that the unleaded fuel, believed to be eco-friendly, had harmful byproducts.

The fuel uses Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) as an anti-knocking agent. Along with byproducts of combustion, this kills small insects.

The insecticidal nature of the byproducts makes the food for those birds feeding on insects scarce. Though adult sparrows can survive without insects in their diet, they need them to feed their young.

With fewer insects to feed on, the infant mortality rates of sparrows went up.
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Old 12th January 2011, 15:58   #18
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Default Re: Help birds/ animals survive in cities

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Pigeons can cause diseases such as Salmonella, Histoplasmosis, encephalitis, toxoplasmosis, Cryptococcosis and Psittacosis.

Dust from the accumulated pigeon droppings carries fungal spores that can cause Histoplasmosis, a sometimes fatal respiratory disease.
Are you sure? At home, there are so many of them taking shelter near the window shades and there are lots of droppings. It is a pain cleaning it up. But no one has any respiratory issues till now.

We also see so many other birds, but only at times and then for few weeks they disappear. Birds such as parrots, minahs etc comes in big batches. We are at the edge of a huge open space where there are lot of trees. But unfortunately a huge development started in the open space, around 500 flats coming up. I think we can say goodbye to those lovely birds for ever .
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Old 12th January 2011, 16:02   #19
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Its a very interesting topic you have brought up selfdrive!

My take on this is a little different. Please do not interfere with the eco system as much as possible. I mean to say, no bird bath, grain sack, bird house etc...

If you want to help them, keep your area clean. do not throw garbage around. Bird or any animal for that mattter will find their food on their own.

I agree the population of pigeons is increasing. So are mynas, so are kites and barn owls.
Similarly population of sparrows, munias and starlings have plummeted. Let us not be judgemental and start corrective actions as WE deem fit.

What we can do is...
be tolarent to the urban wild life. please do not throw stones to hurt, or kill them.
Keep the area clean so that no specific species accelerates its population thriving on the garbage.
Shooo them away and scare them. It is on the best interest of animals and bird to fear humans.

Just my 2 cents from all the exposure I got from various nature clubs.

Mean while, I like to share a experience
We noticed the sparrows were disappearing about 15 years back in a small town. Tumkur. We were missing them verymuch as we had grown up with them as kids in villages. Then we saw a pair of them in our porch one day. My dad was excited and threw a few rice grains which they happily devoured. then they started visiting daily.
In about 6 months thier population had grown to about 60. we loved them never the less. we had started buying grains exclusively for them.
Then the problems started... Cats started visiting, kites and eagles joined, and the whole mini eco system started developing. Along with it the jungle law. We started finding sparrow carcasses hidden in the house by cats. cats started breeding, etc...

Nature has a delicate balance. Best we can do to respect is to interfere the least.
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Old 12th January 2011, 16:18   #20
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Default Re: Help birds/ animals survive in cities

I stay at a Farm in Cantonment area.
We have lots of Small tiny forests around,along the usual green cover.
There are lots of animals around,Like,Hares,Neelgai's,Peacocks,And even Porcupine's,and i have spotted 1-2 Wild boars even.
In the past 3-4 years Army,has wiped out many of these tiny forests.
And I have seen a decline in the number of these species.
We have water pits,all around the farm,for these creatures.
and Last week,we have got a sack of grains,especially for Peacocks,and now every morning and evening,we have at least 10-15 Peacocks\Peahens,visiting us.

This is the least we can do,but this keeps us happy.
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Old 12th January 2011, 16:25   #21
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Default Re: Help birds/ animals survive in cities

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Originally Posted by DRC View Post
Its a very interesting topic you have brought up selfdrive!
My take on this is a little different. Please do not interfere with the eco system as much as possible. I mean to say, no bird bath, grain sack, bird house etc...
Then the problems started... Cats started visiting, kites and eagles joined, and the whole mini eco system started developing. Along with it the jungle law. We started finding sparrow carcasses hidden in the house by cats. cats started breeding, etc...
Nature has a delicate balance. Best we can do to respect is to interfere the least.
I agree the other side of the coin is that we should not interfere with mother nature. But that is also true of when we build our apartment buildings in farmland or destroying trees.
No offence meant, just my 2 cents worth!
IMHO, all I am looking for is tips to help these birds/ animals survive in their environment which we have snatched from them. If an ecosystem develops isnt it better than a desolate quiet place?
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Old 12th January 2011, 16:39   #22
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Default Re: Help birds/ animals survive in cities

Some 6-7 years back we had so many birds around our house in Goa. Lots of sparrow nests hanging on hibiscus trees around the house. We still have all those trees and plants but no sparrows!! The only thing, that I can think of, which coincides with disappearance of sparrows is construction of mobile communication towers nearby.

Now a days the only bird we can see is crows!! We never had pigeons around. They were there in nearby Temples and school buildings.

Similarly butterflies also vanished!!

Last edited by HammerHead : 12th January 2011 at 16:41.
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Old 12th January 2011, 17:08   #23
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Default Re: Help birds/ animals survive in cities

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I agree the other side of the coin is that we should not interfere with mother nature. But that is also true of when we build our apartment buildings in farmland or destroying trees.
No offence meant, just my 2 cents worth!
IMHO, all I am looking for is tips to help these birds/ animals survive in their environment which we have snatched from them. If an ecosystem develops isnt it better than a desolate quiet place?
I am very happy that you share the same concern that I do for nature around us. So no offence taken.

All we need to do is to take anything from the nature just as much we absolutely need and nothing more. More we take /exploit, more waste we create. It is good if we can avoid it. I am guilty of greed too.

Pigeon population has grown because, we have provided them shelter unknowingly on the crevices of high rise apartments. basically they are rock pigeons nesting in crevices of rocks.

There were more sparrows earlier because we had done the same by providing them more nesting opportunities in the tiled roofs of yester years. Now that tile roofs are rare so are the sparrows.
Barn owls have increased because the rodents have increased.
Kites have increased because of land fills and increasing butcheries.

We are emotional. we tend to have soft corner for sparrows than crows.
Have soft corner for squirrels than rats. Though they live in similar environment. But all of them thrive on their habitat. I still believe leaving them alone is the best help.
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Old 12th January 2011, 17:27   #24
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Default Re: Help birds/ animals survive in cities

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Originally Posted by SILVERWOOD View Post
Pigeons can cause diseases such as Salmonella, Histoplasmosis, encephalitis, toxoplasmosis, Cryptococcosis and Psittacosis.

Dust from the accumulated pigeon droppings carries fungal spores that can cause Histoplasmosis, a sometimes fatal respiratory disease.

OT, but a Tomcat that lived with me for a year had wheezing or sneezing type symptoms and he used to eat pigeons once in a while... Can it it be the reason?

Yeah I hate pigeons for the muck they create with droppings, and the smell makes me feel a little sick .. well almost.

cheers

Thanks
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Old 12th January 2011, 17:37   #25
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I still believe leaving them alone is the best help.
I am glad you take this in the right spirit. Most of the city expansions have been built by converting agricultural land or foothills to NA plots. So the birds/ animals were deprived of whatever water source they had. Especially during summer, I see that these birds have a lot of problems with finding water. Hence the desire to help provide them at least basic water and shade. Otherwise, it wont take long before our cities also turn into complete concrete jungles.
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Old 12th January 2011, 17:38   #26
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OT, but a Tomcat that lived with me for a year had wheezing or sneezing type symptoms and he used to eat pigeons once in a while... Can it it be the reason?
Dont think so.Probably a vet would answer your query.Any vets on Bhp.?

Animals have greater resistance than humans,their levels are immunity are far greater compared to our race.
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Old 12th January 2011, 18:14   #27
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Default Re: Help birds/ animals survive in cities

I'm going to get some bird spikes for the pigeon menace I'm having!!

btw you might be knowing that pigeon poo is highly corrosive to the clearcoat of your car's paint(but then all bird poo is!) so another reason to keep them away from your home or work place!
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