Record temperatures turn Bengaluru skies into a no-fly zone

Record temperatures turn Bengaluru skies into a no-fly zone

Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2016-04-27 10:16 Bengaluru: It is not just humans who are wilting under the record heat in Bengaluru. Birds are falling like nine pins from the sky due to the soaring temperatures.At least 100 complaints are reportedly being registered with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike's wildlife department about birds crashing down due to heat. Dr Karthik M, veterinarian from Animal Rights Fund (ARF) said the ARF shelter at present had over 125 birds including, eagle, pigeon, owls, and crow. “Due to the heat, these birds get dehydrated and fall. The birds are given water and food and are released after keeping them for few hours or a day,” Dr Karthik. Dr Karthik said the shelter was overflowing with birds. “Our capacity is to house a maximum of 85 birds but we are taking care of 140 birds since March,” he said. “Many of the birds here are eagles. As November and December was the nesting season, the chicks hatch in less than a month. They fledge when they are about two-and-a- half months old. They start flapping their wings and take short flights but due to the heat they crash. Such cases have been reported from mid-February.”At present, the centre has 112 eagles, seven barn owls, while the rest are jungle crows. Anand Nayar, coordinator at the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, Bannerghatta, where about 40 birds are being looked after, said birds, like humans, need sugar and salt content to keep hydrated. “Keep a bowl of water, add a pinch of salt and spoon of sugar. This will help them to quench thirst and remain hydrated,” said Anand. “Earlier, these birds were dependent on lakes and culverts. But with lakes going dry and being polluted by sewage inflow, birds are forced to drink polluted water.” Mohan K, who rescued a barn owl on MG Road on Monday, said birds were falling due to dehydration this summer. “I get about five calls per day and it is same with BBMP wildlife volunteers across the city. If there is any injury due to the fall, the birds are kept at animal rescue centres and then released,” said Mohan.Jaishankar, Vanamitra Trustee, advised residents to collect fallen birds and keep them in a box. “If they are left on the road, they might die or dogs and cats may eat them. People can gather numbers of animal or bird rescuers from just dial and call us. Migratory birds such as rosy starling, Indian peafowl and others used to arrive a lot during summer. But due to the extreme heat this year, we are not seeing too many of them,” said Jaishankar. Speaking to Bfirst, Mahanthesh Murgoud, Deputy Director, Cubbon Park said they had kept three cement bowls in which they poured fresh water every alternate days. “In addition to this, birds drink water from pond which is opposite to Bal Bhavan. The sprinklers are on for more than five hours in different parts of the park.”Chandrashekar, Deputy Director, Lalbagh said, “We don’t have pots or bowls as the park has thirty acres of lake area where water is present for 365 days.”The non-profit organisation People for Animals has rescued 290 kites from Jan 1st till March 31st 2016.