Meet this city-based duo that makes feeders and baths for birds using discarded plastic bottles
From inside a red basket at P R Vishwanath’s house, comes out a feeble squeaking sound. “It’s the whimper of the pigeon chick,” says Vishwanath, rushing to open the basket. “It’s time to feed the baby bird some dinner.” He carefully lifts out the puny little creature and places it in his palm. The bird moves its scraggy head and tiny wings restlessly. “We rescued this bird from an apartment near Koodal Nagar last week. It fell from the nest but fortunately wasn’t hurt or injured,” he adds, feeding the bird some millet flour mixed in water through a syringe. His house is a sanctuary for harrowed birds and unhappy animals.
‘Oorvanam’, a collective of young men based out of Tirunagar, has been rescuing and rehabilitating animals, birds and reptiles for the past couple of years. Apart from rescuing snakes, monkeys, peacocks, deer, dogs and cattle, they also clean up waterbodies and take part in tree plantation drives in and around the city. And among them are M Guru Prashanth and S Manova, who make bird feeders out of discarded plastic bottles. “Since the summer is harsh this year, it’s important that we help birds find food and water. That’s why we distribute bird feeders,” says Guru Prashanth. “We conducted a couple of workshops, teaching people and students how to make a bird feeder and at the end of it, they all took home a feeder.”
“This is our small effort to recycle plastic waste and at the same time, make something useful out of it for the environment. People buy plastic bird feeders online but that’s again contributing to plastic use/waste. Instead, one can make their own feeder and it’s an easy craft,” says Manova, who has distributed hundreds of feeders so far. He says the best place to hang a bird feeder at home is the balcony. “More than the outdoors like trees and plants, the balcony is a safe and sheltered place for birds to feed on grains and drink some water.”
Feeders go a long way in attracting birds to your backyard, says Vishwanath, who get flocks of Yellow-billed babblers, sparrows, bee eaters, sunbirds, pigeons and cuckoos in his backyard. “The birds may not arrive immediately, but you will see them flying in after a couple of days. Though the feeders are designed to support small birds that perch on them and peck at the grains inside, even large birds make use of the facility. They would just sit on the feeder and shake it so that the grains spill on the floor for them to feed.”
Manova makes five kinds of feeders and some of the designs can be used for providing water to birds. “During summer, a lot of birds get dehydrated, faint and fall down. We have rescued a number of such birds. Bird baths are also a great way to help birds.”
To learn how to make a bird feeder from plastic bottles or rescue a bird/animal in distress, call 9940832133.
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