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Though the moniker 'birdman' may not conjure up images of a superhero, that is what India's Joseph Sekar is to the thousands of parakeets that he feeds daily. The 62-year-old Chennai resident says that he had always left small amounts of rice and grain out for the neighborhood sparrows and squirrels. However, things took a dramatic turn in 2004 after a 9.1 magnitude earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a massive tsunami that impacted many Indian cities, including Chennai.
A few days after the natural disaster, Sekar noticed two parakeets flying in the vicinity and fed them some rice. The birds not only returned the following day but also brought along other hungry friends. As more birds 'heard' about the generous man, they joined in too. Today between 2,000 - 4,000 beautiful parakeets visit the Birdman twice a day!
While that is certainly impressive what is even more so is that Sekar does not feed the birds raw grains - He cooks them! This means that the amazing man gets up at 4:30 AM every morning and spends over an hour cooking the rice. He then painstakingly spreads the grains across 14 wooden planks that stretch across his roof.
The breakfast rush begins at about 6:00 AM when a flurry of beautiful parakeets fly in and continues until every last grain of the delicious rice is gone! The ritual is repeated in the evening when the birds arrive around 4:00 PM and stay for almost two hours. Besides feeding them, the superhero also takes in sick or injured birds and nurses them back to health.
Of course, feeding this many birds is not a cheap undertaking. Sekar estimates that he spends 40% of his daily income of $13 USD as a camera technician on the meals. The generous man says all of his actions come out of a sense of love, which he believes should be universal and extend to all beings, even ones as small as parakeets.
Though Sekar has no immediate plans to stop the tradition, he does worry about what will happen to the beautiful birds as he gets older and is unable to continue. Hopefully, another 'birdman' who is as dedicated to the gorgeous parakeets will step in and take his place.
Resources: odditycentral.com, inhabitat.com,mnn.com