Kite Flying — A Death Sentence

S.M.Sundaram
S.M.Sundaram

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Despite the National Green Tribunal (NGT)'s ban on using Chinese manja (kite strings made of nylon and coated with powdered glass), people continue to buy, sell and use these deadly strings.

It was a pleasant Sunday evening, during the 1st week of June 2020. I was enjoying the nature trail inside our lush green campus of CMPDI Nagpur, a habitat with more than 70 species of birds. While on the walk, I was left horrified after spotting a juvenile Shikra, hanging by its neck. This unfortunate bird was tangled in a nylon thread used for kite flying. Despite the National Green Tribunal (NGT)’s ban on using Chinese manja (kite strings made of nylon and coated with powdered glass), people continue to buy, sell and use these deadly strings. This thread poses a deadly threat to urban birds.

Shikra (Accipiter badius) is a small bird of prey, commonly seen even in urban areas. This one was one of the three juveniles which were successfully raised by a residential pair of Shikras.

I had been following them for a month, and watching them develop their skills as predators. These juveniles also won a fight with cats, but this young one lost out, a victim to human ignorance and apathy. This wasn’t the first incident of this type, but I hope it will be the last. The question we need to ask ourselves is what do we want our future generations to see – a flying play-kite or a feathered friend?

About the author

S.M.Sundaram

S.M.Sundaram is a Manager at Coal India Limited, and is an amateur birdwatcher and avid nature enthusiast.



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