SINGAPORE – Singapore recorded its first sighting of a monk vulture on Wednesday (December 29), the largest vulture in Europe, Asia and Africa, with bird photographers flocking to the Singapore Botanic Gardens for the take a picture on Thursday morning.
But the rare raptor, which bird watchers say is here because it has deviated from its usual migratory path, is currently under veterinary care at Jurong Bird Park after being found in weakened condition at Cornwall Gardens, near the Botanic Gardens , around noon. Thursday.
Responding to questions from the Straits Times, Dr Adrian Loo, director of the wildlife management group at the National Parks Board (NParks), said the statutory board had taken the vulture for examination by its vets.
He said: “No visible injuries were found.”
The vulture’s recovery was captured on video, which was shown on the Telegram messaging app. It shows NParks staff moving the monk vulture, which is seen beating on the ground.
This is the latest of several unusual sightings of migratory birds in Singapore over the past year.
At the botanical gardens on Thursday morning, the monk vulture was seen congregating with a group of five Himalayan Griffon Vultures.
When the Straits Times arrived around 9:30 a.m., police and NParks staff were seen dispersing a crowd of bird watchers blocking the path to the parking lot near the National Orchid Garden.
Movin Nyanasengeran, a member of the Singapore Birds Project, said the vultures likely arrived as part of this year’s migratory season, which takes place between September and March.
“They probably went beyond their usual wintering grounds in Thailand and traveled almost 1,000 km along the peninsula to Singapore,” said the doctoral student from the National University of Singapore.
“The monk vulture is particularly noteworthy because it is the first record we have in Singapore, and it is the largest raptor in the old world,” he said.