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Tea-seller Isa Haque and his love for common starlings

  • Published at 11:19 pm October 12th, 2018
Tea-seller Isa Haque
Tea-seller Isa Haque seen feeding a flock of Common starlings (Asian Myna, locally known as Shalik) in Kushtia's Mirpur Bazar area Dhaka Tribune

The birds visit Isa not only in the morning, but throughout the day, every day

Every day at dawn, hundreds of chirping and tweeting common starlings (Asian Myna, locally known as Shalik) flock to Isa Haque’s tea-stall in Mirpur Bazar. His love for his feathered friends has made him a somewhat local celebrity in Kushtia.

The birds visit Isa not only in the morning, but throughout the day, every day. 

Isa feeds his bird friends at least 10-12 times each day. Most of the time he pays for the food himself, but on occasions, he motivates his customers to do the same.  

Both local residents and people who pass through Mirpur Bazar are amazed by the fearless and friendly nature of the local common starlings. 

Isa singlehanded motivated other shopkeepers in the market to feed the birds. 

Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Isa described how he started looking after these birds: “Common starlings began visiting my tea-stall around one and a half years ago. I started feeding them, because they were very friendly.

“After witnessing me feeding these birds just for fun, other shopkeepers in this market also started to do so. Even many customers visiting my shop feed the common starlings. The birds eat a variety of food, such as breads, biscuits, singaras, and chanachur.”

Local shopkeepers also feed unsold food to these birds.

“Hundreds of common starlings flock around the market in search of food every morning. I give these birds unsold food from by shop. It is a joy to watch all these birds chirping and tweeting in front of my shop,” said Mohir Uddin, the owner of a local bakery.

Echoing the same sentiment, local fruit-vendor Hasan Ali and hotel-owner Prokash acknowledged that they followed Isa’s example to feed the common starlings in the market, and they give away unsold food to the birds every morning.