Have you wondered why the number of birds flying around have decreased so drastically?
Nowadays you will only see birds early morning or late evening.
The heat wave that has left us all confined indoors, is affecting the birds as well. The only difference is that they are not as lucky as we are, they cannot sit in their air conditioned offices and homes but have to bear the heat constantly.
Humans have always thought about their comfort first and how to make their own lives easier, we completely forget about the lives outside our immediate surroundings. We forget that the birds, animals, plants and trees need us to step outside our comfort zone and provide them with a little support.
Due to peoples desire for sunlight during a few days in winter, a lot of trees are cut illegally during that time. Due to our temporary appeasement and temporary comfort, the birds and animals suffer the rest of the year. At a time like this during the heat wave, the birds and animals do not have shade or a cool place to rest because of the extreme reduction in the number of trees in the environment. Birds are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time and need to rest / rehydrate. Because of the scarcity of water in this heat birds and strays don’t get much.
Most people are under the impression that birds can fly to far places in search of water, birds however need to recharge and drink water before they can take long flights. Some birds are also territorial, local birds are unlikely to fly to a different place to find food because of the competition for food in that area and are also unlikely to leave their own territory.
Many bird rescue calls are related to birds that have fallen off trees because they cannot bear the heat and cannot find a source of water or a spot to cool down. They collapse off the trees and need to be urgently treated and taken care of.
These facts apply not only to birds but other animals as well, Humans have removed most natural water bodies and have also contributed to increasing the air pollution exponentially as well. Even though these changes may seem insignificant to some people at the moment; dogs, cats, squirrels, birds etc are all affected by these changes.
Civilisations have always begun next to water bodies, it is foolish to assume that life will be possible without them around. Our immediate next step should be to revive as many water bodies; to protect not only birds and animals but all life. This goal however is unfortunately not achievable instantly, therefore the least we can all do for now is keep water in clay bowls outside our homes, offices, parks and even public places. By doing this small task, you will be helping many creatures. Usually if someone is going through a tough time, they are told to feed animals. We should not wait for a bad phase in our life to show compassion towards birds and animals.
Things to do to care for your pet in the summer:-
- Keep your pets in cool places.
- Make sure to watch for signs of dehydration and keep them well hydrated.
- Take your dogs for walks early morning or late evening, avoid taking them out during the hot time of the day.
- Keep them cool by spraying some water on them a few times during the day
- Certain foods are difficult for dogs to eat, so it is essential to watch their diet as well.
About the author:
Riya Mehtani is currently pursuing an honours degree in psychology in Delhi University and aspires to become a clinical psychologist in the future. Her passions include studying mental health and wildlife – she also loves animals and nature.
Photographs : Mrs Anjali Sapra