20 March: World Sparrow Day
The World Sparrow Day was observed across the world on 20 March 2017. The day was created with an aim to raise awareness about the house sparrow and then other common birds to urban environments.
The World Sparrow Day also speaks of threats to their populations. The day also provides an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the common biodiversity which is taken so much for granted.
World Sparrow Day is an international initiative of the Nature Forever Society of India in collaboration with several national international organisations including the Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France). The first World Sparrow Day was celebrated in 2010 across the world.
About Nature Forever Society of India
The society was created by an Indian conservationist Mohammed Dilawar, who was named as one of the Heroes of the Environment" for 2008 by Time for his efforts. He started his work by helping the house sparrow in Nashik.
• Scientifically known as Passer domesticus, the house sparrow is a bird of the sparrow family Passeridae, found in most parts of the world.
• It is a small bird with a typical length of 16 cm and a mass of 24–39.5 g. Females and young birds are coloured pale brown and grey, and males have brighter black, white, and brown markings.
• One of about 25 species in the genus Passer, the house sparrow is native to most of Europe, the Mediterranean region, and much of Asia. Its distribution in many regions makes it as the most widely distributed wild bird.
• The birds are directly associated with human habitations and thus can live in both rural and urban settings.
• Though found in widely varied habitats and climates, it typically avoids extensive woodlands, grasslands, and deserts away from human development.
• It feeds mostly on the seeds of grains and weeds, but at times it also eats insects.
In 2012, the house sparrow, whose existence is challenged by the mindless urbanisation, was declared as the ‘State Bird of Delhi’.