Once upon a time, birds and humans coexisted in harmony. Shelters of humans also provided shelters for birds. Similarly, our food fed them too. As time passed, technology evolved and so did our homes and food.
Instead of the roofs and wooden beams, which served as nesting sites for many birds, we now have concrete slabs and iron beams. Not only this, to build homes, humans have been alarmingly degrading the green cover. Which means, while building our shelters, we destroy birds’ shelter. As a ripple effect, the lesser the green cover, lesser are the chances of birds finding food.
Vernal Hanging Parrot clicked by Vedawati Padwal.
Birds like Parakeets (commonly called as Parrots) and Owls nest in hollow trunks of trees. Old trees are the ones where they can easily find hollows and unfortunately, such trees find themselves under the axe before the others.
An Owl using the Tree Hollows , by Vedawati Padwal.
The Chawls, which had asbestos or tiled roofs, provided safe nesting sites for birds like Sparrows. These old structures too have not been able to stand up in the face of redevelopment.
Remember those days when we could watch a sparrow tug and pull and peck at a gunny bag full of grains? These gunny bags not only satisfied their need of nesting material, but also of food-grains. These days, food grains come packed in vacuum-sealed packaging, which very efficiently prevents the grains from spilling. While wastage is minimized, this again diminishes the probability of finding food for the granivorous species.
To improve the quality of food that we consume, we use insect-repellents and pesticides in abundance. Insects and pests, which are consumed by the insectivorous species and serve as a source of protein for the young chicks in their growing years, have become scarce. Also, such crops laced with chemicals act as a poison.
Above all these factors, the increase in the number of Scavenger species has created a competition to the smaller species, which struggle to survive attacks on their nests.
Such affected birds prefer artificial shelters and feeders as they provide both, the comfort of a secure, sturdy nesting site and a food source.
The shelters, which are designed keeping various factors in mind, are tall enough to provide a hollow-like space and restrict entry to the shelter owing to the specific-diameter holes.
Arenya hopes that this could help you understand the need of artificial shelters and feeders.