Rise in mercury takes toll on birds
With the onset of summers, there has been a sharp rise in bird rescue incidents. Birds stuck in stressful situations can be seen across Okhla and Delhi-NCR and a major reason for that are rising temperatures, which cause dehydration and heat exhaustion. Wildlife SOS has rescued numerous birds from such distress situations and provided necessary medical aid to the city’s avian population.
Earlier this week, The Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit rescued a Black kite fledgling that was found in the garden of a residence. Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri. The young bird was unable to fly and hence was seen lying motionless on the ground. The excessive heat further aggravated the situation and made its condition even more critical. The OT had reported a few days ago that how a bird was rescued by an Okhla resident.
Upon reaching the location, the Wildlife SOS team first provided drinking water and hydrated the bird, after which it was carefully transferred to a transit facility. The kite is currently under medical observation and will be released once declared fit by the Wildlife SOS veterinarians.
In another incident, a black kite was found caught in a deadly manja (glass-coated nylon strings), hanging from a tree inside a residential complex in Sheikh Sarai Phase-I of south Delhi. The bird was rescued through a collaborative effort of the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit and the Delhi Fire Service. It was suspected that the bird may have been stuck there for two days, and hence was dehydrated.
The NGO has already rescued over 20 Black kites that were found to be suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration in the month of April.
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO, Wildlife SOS said: “We get a lot of calls for kite rescues during the summer months. The rise in temperatures makes birds sick and the major cause is dehydration due to heat stroke in birds. Kites have a tendency to fly at higher altitudes and are more prone to the excessive heat. While descending down in search of prey or water, they very often collapse on the ground due to exhaustion. Summer is a difficult season for birds and dehydration can turn fatal for them. That is why when we rescue birds from such stressful scenarios, the first thing we do is to provide them with water.”
Commenting on the impact of weather on birds, Wasim Akram, Deputy Director-Special Projects, Wildlife SOS said: “With maximum temperatures reaching 42 degrees Celsius during the day, a large percentage of the avian population in Delhi-NCR is becoming a victim of dehydration, heat exhaustion and lack of shade. They are often found lying on the ground unconscious and some even suffer from heatstroke, which can lead to death if appropriate measures are not taken.”
In March alone, the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit rescued nearly 120 birds, which included 30 kites and more than 70 pigeons.
Wildlife SOS has urged residents to do their bit by putting out earthen water bowls and food in their balconies, window sills, outside residential complexes and shops. Creating green cover by planting more trees and keeping potted plants also provide reprieve to these birds.