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Rare Woodpecker Spotted At S’pore Botanic Gardens, Birdwatchers Chiong To Catch A Glimpse

  • April 19, 2023

Rare Slaty Woodpecker Spotted At Botanic Gardens on 12 Mar

It’s not unusual to see birdwatchers pointing their camera lenses toward the canopies at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

But things were seemingly different on Sunday (12 Mar) as there were more birdwatchers than usual, and excitement was palpable in the air.

It turns out an elusive woodpecker had decided to grace the venue, drawing hordes of bird lovers who wanted to catch a glimpse of the rare bird.

Source: Instagram

One of the birdwatchers was, in fact, a groom who was holding his wedding solemnisation nearby — he left the ceremony briefly to catch shots of the woodpecker.

Rare woodpecker likely came from Johor

On Sunday (12 Mar), a slaty woodpecker was spotted at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Source: Facebook

With its bald head, large beak, and grey feathers, the rare woodpecker certainly bore a resemblance to the pterodactyl from the Jurassic period and also Aerodectyl from Pokémon.

Source: Facebook

BirdLife International classified the slaty woodpecker as “Vulnerable”, attributing the population decline to “loss of primary forest cover”.

Speaking to The Straits Times (ST), a committee member of the Nature Society’s (Singapore) Bird Group shared that the slaty woodpecker was one of eight species that vanished from Singapore’s forest since the 1950s.

The chairman of the same group speculated that the bird came to Singapore due to habitat loss in Johor, and served as a reminder of the importance of preserving nature here:

Its visit reminds us of the importance of our forests for biodiversity.

According to Singapore Birds Project, a slaty woodpecker was last seen in Singapore in May 2018 at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Before that, the feathered creature was spotted over 100 years ago in 1904 and 1899, respectively.

Groom rushed

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