Scorching heat spells crisis for birds in Delhi-NCR

Raptors such as kites are more prone to heat exhaustion as they fly at higher altitudes.

New Delhi (NVI): As the temperatures skyrocket in the national capital, it’s not only people who have been suffering. Birds in and around Delhi-NCR are facing the brunt of the heatwave gripping the city. After temperatures shot up to 45 degrees Celsius last week, accompanied by very hot winds, over 30 birds suffering from heat exhaustion were rescued by Wildlife SOS.

In the months of May and June, Wildlife SOS has rescued many birds, suffering from dehydration and injuries caused mid-flight and have been safely released into their natural habitat.

Wildlife SOS is conservation non-profit organization, established with the primary objective of rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife in distress, and preserving India’s natural heritage.

On a single day, their team has responded to over ten calls regarding exhausted birds that were found in precarious conditions. Among them were black kites, pigeons, asian koyals, barn owls and common mynah birds.

In one such similar incident, a baby mynah had fallen out of its nest in Shankar Vihar and was rescued by a Wildlife SOS team when the family noticed the tiny bird in their garden. It was reunited with its mother soon after.

Summer season is the breeding time for birds, so the conservation organisation has received many calls involving baby birds. Raptors such as kites are more prone to heat exhaustion as they fly at higher altitudes. Planting more trees and leaving earthen water bowls around residential complexes, windows and terraces is helpful in preventing such situations from arising.

CEO & Co-founder Kartick Satyanarayan said, “The most common symptoms we have been observing in these birds are dehydration and heat exhaustion. Every year we get hundreds of calls during the peak of summer regarding birds that have fallen victim to the heat. We are very grateful for these individual acts of kindness and for the people who take the time and effort to care for these birds while help arrives.”

Wasim Akram, Deputy Director – Special Projects, said, “A large number of birds are falling prey to the soaring temperatures due to heat exhaustion and lack of shade. With various parts of North India reeling under the heat wave, such cases are bound to escalate in the months to come. Even the water bowls put out for these birds are drying up in the heat and so are local water bodies. As birds need to bathe themselves in summer to keep cool, this is causing quite a difficult situation. In most cases, immediate medical attention is required to prevent them from succumbing to heat stroke.”