Delhi and most of the country is sizzling with rising temperatures. Yesterday was the hottest day in Delhi in last fifty years. The temperature rising to 43.5 degree Celsius.
Not only humans but birds and animals too are reeling under the heat wave. With heat and humidity increasing to unbearable proportions, hundreds of birds are either getting grounded temporarily or falling prey to the persistent heat wave in the northern region daily. The summer has just began and it will be worse in the coming days.
Summer is one of the worst time for birds and animals. Every day I watch hundreds of birds, some of them migratory, perched high on the neem, gulmohar, poplar and cotton silk trees outside my terrace. The bird calls start in the wee hours of the morning and by the time it is around 9oclock, a silence descends on the lush green trees. occasionally some crows can be heard hidden somewhere. Even the dogs and the squirrels take the refuge of big shady trees to avoid the scorching heat and strong hot south westerly wind called “loo” by the locals.
The sudden change in the climate has adversely affected birds. They cannot fly for long as the scorching sun sucks all their energy. With deforestation birds do not find shade easily and have to take long flights in search of a cool spot. luckily in my area there is a green belt, or what ever is remaining of the original green belt of Delhi and the whole place is dotted with old huge shady trees.
Birds flying high get easily exhausted and, hence, descend searching for water. However, during their downward flight they lose their energy and easily fall prey to predators. we have seen many eagles, kites in past few days searching for water and shade.
Most of the time the bird bath on the terrace is frequented by squirrels who dip their furry tails in the earthen pot to cool themselves.
Urbanization has made these winged creatures vulnerable to heat strokes, and many ailments related to heat of summer. If you see them nesting in staircases or window ledges please do not destroy the nests, that’s the only few places they have.
A bird affected by sunstroke takes three days to recover before it can be released. Always keep water on terraces, balconies to help these parched birds.
We even keep water for stray dogs in our locality. It is a community effort at times to stop bird deaths and help the stray animals in these endless summer days. Sometimes a little cold milk is added to it.
It is sometimes a good idea to mix glucose with water to reduce the dehydration cases in birds. If anyone finds a sick bird please take it to the nearest vet.
Maximum danger for birds getting a heat stroke can be between 12 at noon to 6 pm. If they venture out during this period they have very high chances of getting a heat stroke.
What you can do
Keep a Bird Bath on your terrace or balcony
change the water regularly and mix some glucose if you can
If you find a fainted bird gently pick it up and keep it in shade, feed drops of water regularly
In extreme cases take the bird to the nearest vet.
Do not destroy any nests made on staircases or window ledges.
Always put some millet seeds or any other seeds along with water for the birds
PLEASE DO YOUR BIT TO PROTECT OUR WINGED DELIGHTS FROM THE HEAT OF SUMMER