Pune, July 24 : Several birds facing a difficult time due to absence of fully developed trees have been provided special tiny homes here at the Empress Botanical Garden by nature and bird lovers.
Artificial nests have been set up on trees by utilizing items like petrol cans, old letterboxes, plastic cans, wooden boxes and pots. These are firmly attached to support such as a tree or wall facing away from the heat of the sun and avoiding the usual direction of the strong wind or rain.
"Empress Botanical Garden is the best garden in Pune compared to the other gardens. This garden is built in 40 acres and has trees, which is over 100 years old. There is a drain, which flows behind the garden and attracts many birds. Hence, we thought of making such artificial homes on trees which can attract a lot more birds in the garden," said Suresh Pingle, Secretary, Empress Botanical Garden management.
Unchecked urbanisation, land use modification and rampant felling of trees have caused ceaseless problems for tree nesting birds in Pune.
Today, different species of birds find themselves 'at home here.
Spread over 40 acres of land, Empress Botanical Garden today has over 500 such artificial nests set up on trees. Among the occupants are birds like mynahs, parrots, owlets and pigeons.
This garden facilitates scientific study of the breeding behaviour and success of the birds, providing opportunities for observation, recording, filming and ringing.
It also increases the availability of nesting places, which may be very significant in areas where there is dearth of natural nest sites due to lack of mature trees.
Meanwhile, bird experts maintain that utilizing such otherwise wasteful items can provide homes to many birds seeking shelter outside the city.
Besides, these artificial homes are believed to attract a lot of birds and can be considered safe if built accordingly.
"Birds can utilise simple items like plastic cans, pots to make homes out of it. Since old trees are now felled and new trees haven't matured, artificial nests can be arranged by hanging objects like petrol cans on trees. Such artificial homes fascinate a lot of birds on a wider scale," said Satyasheel Naik, an ornithologist.
Activists associated with this special project conduct regular monitoring with conservation of birds and other forms of wildlife in view.