Sparrows’ nest built in bell of Children’s Peace Monument to be left undisturbed until young birds leave it, City of Hiroshima

by Kana Kobayashi, Staff Writer

The City of Hiroshima has decided that the nest sparrows built in the bell of the Children’s Peace Monument will not be removed and will be left undisturbed until around June, when the young birds are expected to leave it. On May 11, it was decided that the chain to ring the bell would not be hung, so that the bell would not make a sound. The monument stands in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

The nest was built in the 60-centimeter-high bell, which has a diameter of 30 centimeters. Adult birds have been seen going into and out of the nest, which is made of twigs and grass. But it has not been confirmed whether there are eggs or baby birds. According to the Hiroshima prefectural chapter of the Wild Bird Society of Japan, sparrows leave their nests around June.

The number of visitors to the Peace Park has decreased as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is closed until June 1 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The city’s Greenery Policy Division commented, “The chain used to be attached every morning, but we have decided to put priority on protecting the nest. Unless there is any trouble or danger to visitors to the park, we will warmly watch over the nest.”

Toyoaki Tanda, 71, a resident of Minami Ward and one of the museum’s Hiroshima Peace Volunteers, noticed that the sound of the bell was different and found the nest. Mr. Tanda said, “This is a place for teaching the preciousness of life. I’m glad that the decision was made to watch over the nest until young birds leave it.”

(Originally published on May 12, 2021)