This came up today when I was reading news!
KOLHAPUR: A flock of birds feeding on a limited harvest could be the last straw for farmers battling a bad monsoon and poor yield this year. But 65-year-old Ashok Sonule has put the well-being of birds over his - he has left the lush harvest-ready jowar crop remain on his 10 guntha (10,000 sqft) land for birds to feed on.
His logic is simple. "Birds and animals have suffered a lot this year, with lakes drying up and crops wilting. Despite the low rainfall, my jowar yield could have been 12-15 quintals and fed my family of 10 for a year. But we can manage without it. I do not want any animal, bird or even human being to suffer due to scarcity of water or food," says Sonule.
Sonule's farmland in Gadmudshingi village, about 15 km from Kolhapur, is already drawing many birds. "There are few fields in this area the birds can call home. The other, and rather severe, problem was of water availability. So, we hung a few earthen pots filled with water," he says.
The farmer decided to leave his yield for birds after he spotted nests on a bone-dry babul tree on his field. The tree was a haven for several families of sparrows, common myna, spotted munia and weaver birds. Sonule, who was planning to chop the dead tree, could not bring himself to harm the nests.
"The birds are small, yet we hear their raucous chirping for most of the day. The tree is thorny and spread low, which made it difficult for us to even walk under it. We decided to cut it, but later when I took a closer look, I noticed several nests with eggs in them," says the grandfather of two.
The family now trades in vegetables and milk from the two cows they own. Sonule says he is happy that his act is helping a few birds, if not many, and that he would be happier if fellow villagers at least hang water containers to help the birds in their area.
Source: In drought-hit Kolhapur, man leaves crop for birds - The Times of India