Birds fall from Bengaluru sky as mercury soars

With temperature rising to 37°C already, about 15 birds are being rescued daily by animal activists over the last few days.
Black kites, parrots, parakeets, crows and pigeons are the most affected.
Black kites, parrots, parakeets, crows and pigeons are the most affected.

BENGALURU: With temperature in the city rising to 37°C already, it’s not just the people but also the animals that are finding it hard to bear the harsh days. Instances of birds fainting due to dehydration are suddenly on the rise now. Over the last few days, about 15 birds are being rescued daily by animal activists. 

Black kites, parrots, parakeets, hummingbirds, crows and pigeons are the most affected birds in the city, which are usually rescued and treated by members of the various non-government organisations in the city. Each NGO functions with a few volunteers in each zone who respond to distress calls about the winged creatures from the people. 

“We request citizens to call us immediately when they spot a hurt or fainted bird. Trying to make them consume water or splashing water on their body, in a bid to help the bird, is a bad idea as the water can directly enter the lungs if not fed properly,” explained Jayanthi Kallam, executive director of Avian and Reptile Rehabilitation Centre (ARRC), a Horamavu-based organisation. 

Each rescued bird is examined properly for any fractures or other issues and then treated accordingly. Also, water and shorebirds travel from one place to another due to the drying up of lakes, and faint due to dehydration. “Hummingbirds and other small birds cannot fly long distances. It’s better to keep a bowl of water mixed with a little salt and sugar to help them survive this summer,” said Anand Nair, Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Bannerghatta.

Activists also suggest that Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) should have their own rescue cell, which would make it easier to look after animals. “Instead of depending on NGOs for help, it is BBMP’s duty to establish a separate centre for rescue of birds and animals within their forest cell,” Simhadri, a volunteer at ARRC, said.

When asked to respond on the suggestion, Chola Raju, Deputy Conservator of Forests, BBMP, said the department does not have enough funds and manpower to start such an initiative. “We have been paying some volunteers on an honorarium basis for helping us out and that is the best we can do right now,” he added.

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