The Death of Divine Flight

The environment is under attack. There are more problems than Nature can cure all on her own and now the word on the street is that if we want even a glimmer of hope, then we need to backtrack: We need an active backtrack. But at the same time, we need to diversify our areas of action. We cannot all be thinking of the icecaps or the seas, we cannot all want to stop logging and poaching. We cannot all be making efforts towards just one end.


The environment is a clever thing. It is so completely interconnected and each piece must lock into the other for the whole cog to be set in the motion of recovery. And so, this will not be about the tigers or about the gases or for that matter about the natural resources. This is about the birds.


The avian class of creatures has always made an impression on man. He has been seduced by their ability to fly; he has been captivated by their colours and has been endlessly entertained by their songs. And yet, we are ignorant to the fact that there are entire species of birds being wiped out by our actions. We watch silently as these singers of the skies are reduced to a pitiful army of defeated angels.


There are over 10,000 catalogued species of birds making them the most numerous tetra pod vertebrates. It may appear that there are birds everywhere and that there will never be a time when their numbers are significantly dwindled. But wrap your head around this monster of a number; over 975 million birds die each year in the North America Region alone, said the American Bird Conservancy; and these are only the migratory birds that were killed by skyscrapers, communication towers and wind-farms. There are plenty of other ways for birds to die.


However, to cram all of them in to one single piece would be doing the cause a gross injustice. So to streamline; human telecommunication technologies have been posing fatal threats to birds that were once as common as the sparrow. In fact the House Sparrow can no longer be called common. The trend was first spotted in Great Britain, and on follow up by Indian ornithologist, Mohammed Dilawar, it was discovered that the only attention that the issue got in India was a mention in a report by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.


The tragedy lies in the fact that the sparrow is essential to the ecosystem and its disappearance ought to be a source of real worry. The sparrow keeps a check on the population of insects and thus, maintains the fragile balance of the food chain. However, according to recent studies, it has been proven that the loss of habitat is but one of the reasons for the death of the sparrow.


A fall in the area of parkland and the contamination of agricultural run-off has made it terribly hard for the sparrow to survive. Birds are also falling prey to the new-age phenomenon of electro-smog.


Electro-smog is the newly created field of electromagnetic signals that envelope the earth. Originally, the earth has its own set of electromagnetic fields that in the present day have been altered almost unrecognisably by the introduction of devices like the cellular phone, baby monitors, wi-fi routers, microwaves, cordless phones and a host of other devices.


The much stronger, man-made electric, magnetic and electro-magnetic fields confuse the animals and birds, specifically, that depend on their natural counterparts for navigation and orientation. This leads them to fly straight into the telephone towers and high-rises, killing them. And then there are the proven hypotheses that suggest that birds’ feathers act like conductors for the new and more potent electromagnetic waves.


There’s really nothing that we can do to avoid the problem entirely. But we can make an effort to reverse the effect we’re having on the avian population. Modifications in the structures of our communication devices would make a drastic difference to this frightening situation. Until then, we could make an effort to monitor our usage of harmful devices and pay more attention to our bird conservancy projects. This is the best way to make a difference!


If everyone takes up the cause of one part of the environment, then we are sure to account for every last bit of this magical world of ours. Let’s make the birds the start of our journey and the earth will be alive again at the end. Let’s take the first step to the tomorrow that we want and the rest of the pieces will be better taken care of! We can do this. Yes, we can!


Karish,ma Modi

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