1.Provide bird food by planting native plants with berries or which attract lots of insects. If you can’t, make a bird feeder – just a simple low earthern pot or a plank of wood on a pole or standing in a pot on which you put different grains, seeds every day. An offering of fruit will attract hundreds of songbirds
2.If you can plant shady, fruit trees in your own garden do so. If not , do it on the pavements outside. If not, then plant them in the park in your colony , all along the wall. Also plant bushes. Get involved with your local community group so that a map can be made of the colony and as many trees as possible planted. Remember, the economic value of the colony goes up in direct proportion to the number of trees in it so you don’t just save birds, you increase the value of your own property. This is specially important where there are a lot of high rise buildings. Green space improves the quality of life for all.
3. If you can make a small pond in your house , great. If not make a bird bath out of shallow bowls. Birds need water to drink and to wash their feathers. If you have electricity or the ability to rig up a small solar battery , make a fountain. Birds love dripping water.
4.Make small birdhouses and attach them to walls around your house. All the hole nesting birds like sparrows and wrens need homes. Try to put a bush near them so that they feel safe. If you are building a new house or have booked a highrise flat , ask the builder to make built in window boxes below the windows so that you can grow plants there.
5. Don’t use pesticides in the garden or in your house. Millions of birds have died from them. They eat berries covered with poison, eat insects that have been swept out dead from the house , killed by poison. Even if the bird does not die, the effect of the pesticide makes the eggshell so thin that it bursts when she sits on it. There are hundreds of natural alternatives to remove insects from the house or pests from plants. The easiest is to use neem or eucalyptus oil. Don’t kill weeds , these are plants brought in by the birds themselves and they all serve a food and medicinal purpose. But if you have to , remove them by hand or by hoes instead of spraying them
6. drink shade coffee and make sure it says so on the label. Coffee plantations that grow coffee by cutting down forests ( called sun coffee) destroy at least 150 species of birds. It is as simple to grow it under shade. The demand for this is growing all over the world . Make your own demand for it by writing to the company.
7.Join a group that cares about birds and see what you can do to preserve their habitat. This sometimes means raising your voice in protest with the media and with the local government when a park is being turned into a parking lot or any unnecessary road is being constructed through green area. A strong protest can save this. Learn about trees, The municipality usually plants anti-bird trees . In Delhi , for instance, only four types of trees are planted – alstonia, false ashoka, oleander and peltophorum. The reason is that no birds sit on them as they are poisonous. Imagine a city without birds. You need to learn about trees and refuse to have these trees planted. They should be replaced by shady hardwood berry and flower trees. Plant the seeds of all the fruit you eat in pots and when they become sturdy saplings give them away or plant them yousrself.
8.Volunteer at a local shelter. Sometimes it needs manpower, other times money or material. Sometimes it needs publicity. See what you can do. Learn bird first aid from the net. Not a single veterinarian knows any bird medicine and there is only one bird hospital in India – in Delhi. See if you can learn and start one. It simply needs a room and some learning.
9.Bring birds to public notice. Not just when they start disappearing like sparrows and vultures but all the time. Make a bird club in the school and don’t just watch birds but make sure that the school becomes a haven for them.Give away saplings of fruit trees to students who have gardens or live near parks. Write to the newspapers often. In fact push the government to make a “ Bird Month” in which competitions are held and prizes given to those people that plant trees and help birds
In Delhi, it is illegal to cut trees but many people do so. Report them to the local authority or make sure that you protest as soon as you see them cutting a tree , to the police.
10. Don’t use firecrackers ever. These kill more birds than hunger and thirst. These destroy the air and kill you slowly as well. Nothing you do for birds can compensate for the firecrackers because they simply fall out of their nests and die.