#WorldSparrowDay March 20th of every year celebrated as world sparrow day, thought of sharing one of my watercolor work. What used to be a common sighting of a House sparrow in the 70’s and 80’s is slowly becoming a rarity. Lucky for me I grew up most of my childhood days watching them.
Living on the second floor, our roof was made of asbestos, these sheets had up down curves running through them. This created spaces for the sparrows to build their nests using hay and cotton. Building material was easily available for them those days, hay being used as fodder for cattle and there were many farmlands still. Cotton was grown throughout the year as well.
At home we always used food grains from local market which we do even today. Drying food grains on terrace or balcony was a common practice those days, it presented ideal opportunity for birds like sparrows to feed. We used to leave food for the birds everyday before lunch too. Most of our streets were kaccha roads, ideal for many birds for dustbathing.
They did face few threats back then too, during the monsoon, most of their nest would get blown away. Squirrels usually competed for nesting space, pushing many eggs. Cats preyed on juveniles who were naïve and not fast enough. Watching broken eggs, dead juveniles, injured birds was pretty common. Few of them were kept indoors and later made their way back to the sky.
With most of these practices forgotten, the farmlands disappearing, concrete structures taking over urban spaces, brought a slow end to these winged friends.
After moving to my studio, which is far away from the city limit, for time being that is. Got to watch them again, since there are many cow sheds close to my studio. This painting is from one of the specimen from one of those cow sheds. Spent more than twenty hours painting it from life, after which I had to bury him!
In loving childhood memories of this tiny winged friend!
Title: Eternal Peace!
House Sparrow Male Study (Passer domesticus)
Size: 16.5x 11.3 inches (420x 297 cms)
Medium: Watercolor paper,300 GSM
Duration: 28 hours
Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
March 31st 2017