A rare kingfisher was witnessed to have been bullied by another bird on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Gardens by the Bay because nature is wild this way.

Credit: Jeline Goh

The oriental dwarf kingfisher is an uncommon migrant bird that stops by Singapore around this later part of the year.

It can grow up to 14cm.

Credit: Isabelle Lee

It was seen to have been shoved into the mud and left struggling, after it was attacked by a larger white-breasted waterhen, which can grow up to 36cm.

Credit: Wikipedia (This is a generic picture of the bird, and not of the culprit.)

The one-in-a-million incident was witnessed by a group of nature photographers who had gathered to shoot the rare kingfisher.

Credit: Birds, Insects N Creatures of Asia (BICA)

Details of the incident was reported by The Straits Times.

What happened?

The kingfisher was first spotted near the Dragonfly Bridge at Gardens by the Bay on Thursday, Oct. 4.

The attack on the kingfisher by the other bird occurred on Saturday at about 4.30pm, when about 50 photographers were gathered to take photos of the kingfisher.

According to a witness, the kingfisher was standing on a plant, when a waterhen suddenly poked it from behind.

The kingfisher fell into the mud, but was unable to fly out despite flapping its wings. It appeared to have been stuck and injured.

Workers from Gardens by the Bay then went down to rescue the kingfisher.

Credit: Geoff Lim

Bird nursed back to health in one day

A 72-year-old long-time birdwatcher and committee member of the Nature Society’s (Singapore) Bird Group took the stunned kingfisher home to nurse it back to health.

He subsequently released it back at Gardens by the Bay the next day on Sunday when the bird was visibly better and flapping its wings about.

He had kept the bird in a dark box to rest overnight.

Initially, the bird’s caretaker had wanted to hand the bird over to the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), but they were busy.

The elderly man was instructed over text messages by Acres about what he was supposed to do to care for the bird.

About 50 photographers returned to the Gardens by the Bay at 6.30am on Monday morning to snap pictures of the kingfisher.

The kingfisher makes for a prized subject for photography due to its temporary status in Singapore, beautiful colours, as well as its feeding process of diving into the water to pull out its prey and feeding on it in plain sight.

About the oriental dwarf kingfisher

The oriental dwarf kingfisher is a relatively small bird found in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as well as parts of southern China and Southeast Asia.

It grows to a size of between 12.5cm and 14cm.

The migration season for this bird starts in September.

The Nature Society (Singapore) records fewer than 10 oriental dwarf kingfishers migrating here annually on average.

H/T The Straits Times

Top photos via Jeline Goh, Nature Society (Singapore)