Tamil Nadu village goes dark to protect bird’s nest

They had no streetlights on for more than a month in a village in Tamil Nadu, India. In…
bird nest in tamil nadu

They had no streetlights on for more than a month in a village in Tamil Nadu, India.

In the Sivaganga district in Tamil Nadu, there lies a village by the name of Potthakudi. A college student named Karuppu Raja lives in the village, and he recently led a charge there to protect a bird and her eggs.

Raja lives near the village’s main switchboard. He has been in charge of turning the lights on and off since he was a child. But more than a month ago, he noticed something out of the ordinary:

When I stepped out of my house one afternoon, I noticed a small blue bird flying in and out of the switchboard. Being curious, I went closer and saw that it was gathering sticks and straws. I did not know what bird it was, but it was building a nest.

Karuppu Raja

He spent the following three days turning the lights on and off as usual and watching the bird, an Oriental magpie-robin, fly away after dropping its sticks. But the day after that, he found three small eggs in the switchboard nest.

Three eggs in the switchboard nest. (Karrupu Raja)

Raja wished for the bird and her eggs to remain peacefully in the nest. But that would mean none of the village streetlights going on.

He used WhatsApp to connect with his community in a bid to ensure the safety of the bird and its eggs:

I explained how I wished to provide a safe place for this bird to lay its eggs and asked for their support to cut the power line. Most villagers thought of this as an opportunity to give back to mother nature and agreed. But, some people thought this was an extreme step for a little bird.

Karuppu Raja

But eventually, everyone warmed up to the idea. Arsunan, a village leader, said that once they saw the haven the bird had built, they thought about the many people they had seen “suffering on the streets without a place to stay” because of the COVID-19 lockdown. They didn’t want the bird to suffer in the same way, so they accepted Raja’s proposal for cutting the power.

Another villager, Moorthy A, first thought Raja was joking, then had their heart melt to see the bird and her nest.

Raja has continued to watch over the switchboard and its tenants. Now, the mother bird has three baby chicks with her instead of eggs.

The village has been dark for more than 40 days. It will remain dark until all the birds are ready to leave the nest.

Article source: The Better India

Featured image source: Karrupu Raja

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