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Birds fly in frenzy amid firecrackers

http://www.mid-day.com/news/2011/oct/271011-Birds-fly-in-frenzy-amid-firecrackers.htm

Birds fly in frenzy amid firecrackers

By: Saurabh Katkurwar

Date: 2011-10-27

Place: Mumbai

The boom and dazzle of fireworks may enthral residents, but the loud sounds
of the crackers take a toll on birds and animals in the city*****

Diwali feels incomplete without the loud and resonating sounds of firecrackers that add zest to the celebrations in the city.

But, it's not the same for the speechless animals and birds. With their superior sense of hearing, the revelry during Diwali is a nightmare for the winged creatures.

Environmentalists say that sometimes the high-pitched explosions ** cause birds to deviate from their migratory paths*

Birds usually follow a daily pattern of waking up early and reposing at dusk. With most of the explosions taking place after dusk, their daily routine is thrown out of gear.

Animal care

Environmentalists and activists also fear that fireworks leave many animals and birds injured or mutilated. Dr Ashok Kothari, honorable secretary of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) said, "Due to the explosions and loud sounds of firecrackers, birds panic and leave their roost (place where they stay).

People prefer to light firecrackers in open spaces near trees, so birds fly away and keep hovering in the sky. They soon get lost and can't find the way back to their nest. Fire crackers have always proved disastrous for the biodiversity, particularly birds."

Subsequently, if the birds do not return to their nests, their young ones are affected, resulting in their deaths.

Migration problems

Also, sounds reverberating through firecrackers and resulting air pollution repel migratory birds from their migration path.

Dr Goldin Quadros of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said, "It is good that migratory birds do not stay in the city area as they prefer wetlands. The air and sound pollution affects arrival of migratory birds. Moreover, the disturbance in the migration path of these birds is not good for nature."

Meanwhile, animal welfare activists fear that this year too, fireworks would leave many stray and pet animals and birds dead or mutilated.

To counter this catastrophe, an NGO in Thane has started a helpline number for injured animals and birds this Diwali.

Nilesh Bhanage of Plant and **Animal Welfare Society** (PAWS) said, "We have started a helpline number so that people can call us, if they see any injured animals or birds writhing in pain. In turn, we will call the respective authorities, who will rescue the injured animal and birds."

Helping hand

 To report any sightings of injured or dead animals or birds, please call this NGO helpline 9820161114

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