As it turns out, Bengaluru summers are worst for the birds. Environmentalists and bird rescuers have come across over 200 cases of birds being grounded due to dehydration this year.

 

According to People For Animals (PFA), a non-profit rescue and rehabilitation centre, they rescued 299 grounded birds between January and December 2016. Birds ranging from eagles to crows, mynas, little green sunbirds are falling down because of dehydration.

 

Cases of starvation or dehydration with birds arise because of food and water scarcity or competition for survival. Scarcity of food and water could be because of rapid urbanisation, which has lead to the depletion of resources. Urbanisation has also resulted in the loss of green patches and has become a indirect reason for adversities in environmental temperature.

 

"This erratic rise and fall in the temperature affect the birds. High temperatures would result in dehydration, which is sometimes very severe and could even kill them. Moderately dehydrated birds would not be able to complete long flights usually... ultimately landing on the ground, rooftops, trees etc, needing rescue," said Dr Karthik, Senior Veterinarian, at PFA.

 

 

"Such birds will be treated after assessing the level of dehydration. All dehydrated birds will be subjected to fluid therapy. Moderately dehydrated birds will be given fluids orally. Extremely dehydrated birds will be given fluids par-enterally (intra-osseous or intra-venous depending on the size of the bird). Fluid replacement will be calculated based on the body weight of the bird and the percentage of dehydration. After calculating the required quantity, fluid therapy will start and it will be given in bolus dose every hour throughout the day," he added. 

 

Sharath Babu, an urban wildlife conservationist and activist, said that he gets about 30 calls for bird rescue everyday. He pointed out that in the last 10 years, cases of birds falling down due to dehydration have primarily been because of ecological imbalance, due to vanishing water bodies and forest cover.

 

"Earlier, there was availability of water, nectar, insects and worms due to the presence of more lakes and trees. But due to unplanned development, these life saving elements are missing, and hence having a cascading effect on the birds," he opined.    

 

Do your bit to save birds this summer

 

With the temperature already shooting beyond 35 degrees, summer is at its peak. Many animals and birds are dying due to dehydration. You can do your bit to save them by providing water. Place water in pots, coconut shells, keeping things as natural as possible. Small bird baths and feeders could be installed and placed in shades. This would help save a lot of birds, who will otherwise die of dehydration and starvation.