CHAUTARA, Feb 7: The sweet whistling sound of sparrows and drongos is continuing to recede with increasing urbanization and use of harmful pesticides in farming.
The growing encroachment of their natural habitats had led these songbirds to gradually decline in number in the cities a decade ago, but now they have started moving out from the villages too.
The birds are an essential part of the fabric of our perspective towards the nature's beauty. They have been treated falsely as enemies at times and as friends by human beings. They are friends because these insectivorous birds clear out the insects that cause harm to our crops.
"Before the rooster crowed in the first attack before dawn we used to hear the drongos' whistle," Ekendra Bahadur Shrestha of Chautara Municipality – 9 said and added, "It has been a long time since that we have not been able to sight drongos."
"The sight of drongo chasing the eagle that hover around to pick up chickens in the villages will now only remain in our memory," local Jagat Bahadur Shrestha shared.
The construction of new modern buildings in place of old houses, where sparrows used to find shelters, has created a shortage of place for these birds. The use of huge amount of pesticides by farmers is another reason as it kills the insects that these birds feed on, senior ornithologist, Dr Hem Sagar Baral said.
The jungle myna and sparrows used to make nests in the old houses, but now not only in the cities rather the old houses have mostly been replaced in villages. So not only jungle myna and sparrow, but also rock pigeons and city pigeons are getting displaced from the villages, according to experts.
Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN) ornithologist, Jyotendra Thakuri, said the sparrows and drongos are hard to find these days due to their dwindling habitat and food sources.
Thakuri confided that they were now trying to find out the actual reasons that have led these birds to move out from places where other species of birds continue to be sighted. "A research has started in this regard in Kathmandu and we are waiting for result, but the research is yet to start in other districts," he added.