Redhill resident delighted by pair of hornbills: 'The last time I saw one was 30 years ago'

Submitted by Stomper Clara

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Did you know that the Oriental Pied Hornbill was once locally extinct?

A species native to Singapore, the bird bred here during the 19th century but its population later declined to the point of local extinction.

According to a newsletter published by the National Parks Board (NParks) in 2012, it was not until the 1990s that these hornbills were seen regularly again in the mangroves of Pulau Ubin.

They first nested around 1997 and have now built up a significant population, thanks to successful conservation efforts.

Stomper Clara was thrilled to see a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbills in Redhill on Tuesday (Oct 18), noting that her last such sighting was nearly 30 years ago.

She shared photos of the birds that she took at and said: "It seems that the Oriental Pied Hornbill is now quite frequently sighted even in residential areas. Once almost extinct locally, they are about 100 of these birds on our small island thanks to effective conservation work.

"They have reportedly been seen taking shelter from storms in flats, waiting patiently for fruits outside coffee shops and occasionally helping themselves to a snack when pet birds are left outside of flat windows.

"The last time I saw a huge single hornbill perching along a corridor in Redhill with its loud unique call was almost 30 years ago.

"I caught sight of this male and female pair at the old flats (Block 72) near Gan Eng Seng Primary School on Tuesday evening. They were perching on the windowsills and hopping from house to house.

"These majestic birds are truly a sight to behold and exceptionally delightful to watch when they take flight.

"I'm happy that despite being highly urbanised and a first-world country, we still have the opportunity to be close to wildlife, lush greenery and fauna. It's a paradise, as many have said."

View more photos in the gallery.