Wednesday, March 4, 2009

is the woodpecker a big bird?

our perception of things are sometimes shaped by what we watched in the reel world, like the cartoons that we watched when we were kids. as a kid, all of us enjoyed watching the animated cartoon 'woody woodpecker'. my formed idea of a woodpecker had been: it was a big, loud bird which was not afraid of humans. in reality, it is so different.

my first encounter with a woodpecker was at bukit batok nature park. i was alerted by the 'tok tok' sound made by the bird when it pecked on the trunk of an old tree. what i had imagined to see was different from what i saw. yes, i was thrilled to see a woodpecker in singapore but the size of the bird was kind of a disappointment. it was about the size of a mynah.

today, i came across another woodpecker on a tree near the main bridge over the sungei buloh besar. it was not making any sound with its beak. i noticed it because of the colours. it had yellow, black and white feathers; more yellow than the other two colours. like the bukit batok's woodpecker, it was not a big bird.

i think there are bigger ones, even in singapore. it is just that those i have come across so far are the smaller ones.

from what i can gather, the woodpecker that i saw at sungei buloh wetland reserve was a lesser golden backed woodpecker.


nah said...

This bird must not be looked down. It is small, but a very strong bird. It can put many big birds to shame.
Not too long ago, I enjoyed a live show of this small bird working on a hole. It had so much energy that after a few hours, it was still working tirelessly, until it was satisfied with the hole. It worked deeper and deeper on the hole, and eventually was in the hole and out of sight. Each time it entered and came out of the hole, a white substance was scattered all over the place. I realized that this white substance came from the tree. Like you said, it made a sound, but it was definitely not a sound of ecstasy.
It is not uncommon to see a big bird’s performance on the screen. This occasion, I thoroughly enjoyed watching a small bird in action.

yg said...

mr nah, you sure get a thrill out of watching 'live' performance of birds, no matter its size. imagine spending hours watching that tiny guy working tirelessly at the hole! i salute your patience!