Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Forgotten Bond between Humans and Birds

Much has been written on human-animal interaction, let me pen down something with birds!

With birds, the common adage of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ hold true. We don’t pay much attention to these tiny to medium sized creatures. If you are wondering why I am harping about these silly birds, let me tell you then that the bond between humans and birds go back to times even before dogs were domesticated. But this bond is getting weaker in the mad rush of today.

Our mythology has numerous stories related to birds. You may be a Hindu, Muslim, Christian or even a Sikh, there is a story related to birds in every religious book. Some birds are stated to be holy while others are cast as evil. Numerous myths surround the birds, like crows are considered as messengers of death by Hindus, just as ravens are by Christians. Owls can be wise or their sighting can be considered as a bad omen. Everyone knows about ‘one for sorrow and two for joy’ song about the Mynas.

Recently, during my early morning walk, I saw a Barn owl peeping from a small window of a four storied building. I nearly whooped with joy and first thing I did was search it on Internet, as I had never seen this bird before. Now every morning when I pass that building, I glance up to check whether it is there or not and hopefully it will make this place its home permanently. Such is the joy of finding a life!

I really “miss” those times when human-bird interaction was ordinary not special. Ask your elders and they will break into monologues of how birds were a part of the household, often nesting close. Sadly, house sparrows no longer make our homes theirs. Apart from the pesky Myna and the resilient pigeon, it is only the crows and kites that inhabit our cities now.

They are not only needed for aesthetic beauty. Do you know that crows are the best scavengers, now that the vultures are gone? I love the sounds of chirping birds waking me from my deep slumber. A lot of birds like Bulbul help farmers in getting rid of mice and harmful insects.

Birds are such exquisite creatures that they have different personalities. Look around for ‘seven sisters’ flying around babbling endlessly and then the watchful eagle that silently glides and catches the prey! They have breathtaking beauty if you care to notice and have a full-fledged “language system” considering differences in their chirpings. 

It amazes me how animals and birds coexist with each other; at the sight of the predator birds usually warn the prey and more examples can be counted. Wouldn’t it be good if we too join this orgasmic camaraderie?

Written by Rishya Dharmani
"Life is not a mystery, as they say, rather it is simplicity itself. Unlearn, fail and realize the true joy."

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