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Villagers Went Without Streetlights for 45 Days to Help a Bird and Its Hatchlings


Common Indian Robin / Akash Satpathy, CC license

When man and nature try to coexist, man often wins. But that was not the case in a small town in South India when a native Robin recently chose to build her nest in an extremely inconvenient location.

The town of Potthakudi contains only 120 houses and has a total of 35 street lamps. Unfortunately, the misguided mother bird had decided to organize the cleaning service at the main lighting switchboard in town.

The nest and its inhabitants were first discovered by Karuppu Raja, the man in charge of lighting the street lamps every night. A lifelong bird lover, Raja posted her find on local social media to alert citizens of her discovery and ask for their cooperation in taking a hands-off approach with unexpected temporary guests.

“I wrote on WhatsApp that turning off the lights was the only solution because the bird will fly once it realizes that there is a human contact or contact near its nest,” Raja told Deccan Herald. “I also told the group that we should save the bird and its young at any cost.”

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While some initially expressed concern that the lack of night lighting would be inconvenient, Raja was eventually able to persuade his fellow villagers that any sacrifice would pay off in the long run. “I explained to him that so many species of birds have become extinct and that we shouldn’t let Indian Robin go the same way,” Raja said. DH.

So instead of expelling the feathered brood, residents agreed to observe a blackout until the chicks were old enough to blow up the chicken coop. The city spent a total of 45 days and nights in the dark, even disconnecting the switchboard from the power source to keep Mom and her chicks safe.

After mama robin and her chicks finally took off, the blackout lifted, but the village’s extraordinary conservation efforts for the sake of a single bird and its babies did not go unnoticed.

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A bird in hand may be worth two in the bush, but a bird in the switchboard has earned Potthakudi a reputation for friendliness that is likely to light up smiles for quite some time.

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