Khagol_113_January 2018

Khagol (the Celestial Sphere) is the quarterly bulletin of We welcome your feedback at the following address: IUCAA, Post Bag 4, Ganeshkhind, Pune 411 007, India. Phone : (020) 2569 1414; 2560 4100 Fax : (020) 2560 4699 email : Web page : | KHAG L | No. 113 - JANUARY 2018 | 16 - Chaitanya Rajarshi Know Birds Thy 18 Hello friends, It is time to say good bye to you as this is the last article in this series, but this should not be a goodbye to the birding adventures. Do you know number of bird species in the world? We are not even sure how many different kinds of birds are there; but the no. is near to 10 thousand. In our country, the official no. says 1266 species and in Maharashtra the no. is around 550.Wow… But, why should we care to know about these little creatures and go outside to watch them? In the present world, the importance of birds seems minimal due to technological advancement and current life style. Many of us do not even bother to see them. Well, we should care for birds because……. Birds play a vital role in the nature. They are integral parts of the food chain. Some birds feed on grains, fruits and they help in seed propagation. We cannot grow trees like Banyan, Figs, Peepal etc. in nursery; these trees grow only through birds dropping. Birds are important pollinators. Some birds feed on insects and control pests in gardens, farms in a natural way. Some eat rats, lizards etc. Birds and eggs in turn are also food for some animals like snakes etc. This relationship maintains the balance of ecosystem by preventing growth of a single species. Birds like Vultures are natural scavengers. They help keep the nature clean of dead and decay matter and prevent spreading of harmful bacteria and viruses. Birds are the true friends of humans. Farmers use bird droppings as fertilizers as it is richwith nutrients like nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. Birds like Owls, and other birds of prey control rodentswhich are nuisance to farmers. Other than this, birds are prime source of food for humans (eggs and meat of turkey, hen, ducks, geese, quails etc.). Eggs are rich in protein. The white meat has less fat content and is good for health. So, these birds are grown to make economic gains. Birds are pets for many. They help in loneliness. Birds add beauty to environment. Thus birds are greatly helpful to humans and nature. Due to pollution, excess use of pesticides, modernization and wide spread radiationmany birds are getting extinct. We need to protect themandminimize the hazards of technology on them. Refer to the figure: If we timescale the lifespan of Earth in a 24-hour clock, humans have evolved at 11.59 PM.As the youngest child, we should caremore about the ecosystem. Figure: History of Earth in 24-hour clock (Source: Internet) “The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed.” ― Mahatma Gandhi List of some movies on birds: “Happy Feet”, “The Big Year”, “Rio”, “Winged Migration” Wish You A Very Happy Birding