Joseph Sekar is known as “Birdman” in southern Indian state of Chennai. Every morning, his terrace starts bustling with the noise of birds.
For the last 15 years, the 63-years-old camera mechanic has been spending half of his earnings to feed ring-necked parakeets.
Every day, Sekar puts out 30 kg rice twice a day on his terrace for up to 3,000 birds. The first meal is served before sunrise. Evening meal is given post sunset.
The “Birdman” has arranged wooden planks on his terrace to feed the birds. The sight of thousands of birds attracts many birdwatchers who frequently visit Sekar’s terrace.
“For the last 25 years, I have been running Sekar camera house. We have a collection of cameras from the evolution of photography in the world,” says Sekar adding that journalism and visual communications students regularly visit the facility.
Sparrows, squirrels, crows and pigeons
“Right from the beginning, I used to feed sparrows, squirrels, crows and pigeons,” he said. After tsunami hit India in 2004, a few parrots joined regular birds that used to come here. Within a year, the number of parrots swelled to thousands.
“During summers, I feed them twice a day. I start preparing at 5.30am. They come over by 6am and finish in an hour,” says Sekar. “During April-May, I have to arrange 30-35 kg of soaked rice grains as birds’ coming from long distances reduces,” he said.
Sekar says that during rains and cyclones, parakeets stay at his terrace the whole day. “They take up all my time, leaving no time for personal work. This is the phase when the daily consumption goes up to around 75 kg,” he says adding that people also release their caged parrots.
“Love each other for world peace. And save animals. This is my only request and motto,” Sekar signs off with a message.