Great slaty woodpecker: Once lost, now found again in Singapore's forests

The first record of the great slaty woodpecker on May 2, 2018 near the summit of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
The first record of the great slaty woodpecker on May 2, 2018 near the summit of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.PHOTO: TED LEE
The re-appearance of the great slaty woodpecker has been described by veteran bird-watcher Alan Owyong as the greatest ornithological event in Singapore in the last decade.
The re-appearance of the great slaty woodpecker has been described by veteran bird-watcher Alan Owyong as the greatest ornithological event in Singapore in the last decade.PHOTO: ALAN OWYONG
The great slaty woodpecker seen in Tanjung Puting in Johor, Malaysia.
The great slaty woodpecker seen in Tanjung Puting in Johor, Malaysia. PHOTO: CON FOLEY
The great slaty woodpecker disappeared from Singapore forests since 1950, along with seven other woodpecker species.
The great slaty woodpecker disappeared from Singapore forests since 1950, along with seven other woodpecker species.PHOTO: ART TOH
The great slaty woodpecker disappeared from Singapore forests since 1950, along with seven other woodpecker species.
The great slaty woodpecker disappeared from Singapore forests since 1950, along with seven other woodpecker species.PHOTO: ART TOH

SINGAPORE - The great slaty woodpecker is not the most attractive of birds, with its bald head and grey cloak of feathers.

But a sighting of it near the summit of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve last week has got the birding community in Singapore buzzing with excitement.

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