Mynas steal home of woodpeckers at Hampstead Wetlands in Seletar, 1 chick killed

A chick fell into the water and became a monitor lizard's snack.

Zhangxin Zheng | February 19, 2021, 03:17 AM

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On Feb. 15, 2021, a family of banded woodpeckers at Hampstead Wetlands Park near the Seletar Aerospace Park experienced a sneak attack on their nest by a pair of Javan mynas.

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The adult woodpeckers were away, leaving two chicks to fend for themselves in the nest on a tree.

Photo of the two chicks and its parent at Hampstead Wetlands Park. Photo courtesy of CY Tan.

Woodpecker chicks fend for themselves against invasive mynas

The chicks were spotted heads outstretched from the hole in the tree with mouths open as they attempted to scare away the intruders.

The chicks' parents were likely out to find food.

This is not the first time the mynas attempted to take over the woodpeckers' nest in Seletar, but the previous attempt the day before was foiled by the parent woodpeckers that came back in time.

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One chick dropped into the pond and became monitor lizard's meal

Unfortunately, one of the chicks fell into the pond at Hampstead Wetlands Park on Feb. 15.

While it was struggling in the water, an opportunistic monitor lizard swam towards its prey.

Video by @bird_speeding

The poor chick became the monitor lizard's surprise snack that morning.

One chick survived

The other chick managed to survive the ordeal as mummy woodpecker came back to spar with the two mynas.

Here are some scenes during the two-versus-one battle between the woodpecker and the two intruders:

Photo courtesy of @bird_speeding/Instagram.

Photo courtesy of @bird_speeding/Instagram.

Photo courtesy of @bird_speeding/Instagram.

Photo courtesy of @bird_speeding/Instagram.

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Following that dramatic morning, the sole juvenile and its parents left the hole to seek another safe haven.

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Being extremely tactical, the mynas succeeded in their invasion.

The duo took over the woodpeckers' original nest.

Top photos courtesy of CY Tan and @bird_speeding