“Sharing an unusual wildlife sighting last Friday in the school.
“Somehow this bird managed to get into the toilet and was sighted by some students on the morning of 31st March 2017. A few girls came to the General Office to report their wildlife sighting. I drew out a pair of gloves and grabbed a plastic container outside the staff room and made my way to the female toilet to attend to the case.
“A few female students were still taking photos of the bird in the toilet when I arrived. I identified the bird as a White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis).
“This kingfisher has a chocolate brown head and belly. It gets its name from its white throat. Its breast and belly are also white. Its tail, back and most of its wings are turquoise. It feeds on fish, insects, worms and frogs.
“After making sure that no one else was in the toilet, I told two students to hold the toilet door open while squatting down, so that it can be an obvious exit point for the bird. I took the longest object I could find in that toilet, a dust pan, and waved at the kingfisher. It flew in circles near the ceiling, landing on the window panels and water pipes.
“I ‘talked’ to the kingfisher, informing it that there is no house meeting on that day, and the toilet is not the right place for it. After 10 minutes of struggle with this kingfisher, it finally managed to scoop downwards and exited by the door of the toilet and disappeared into the ‘Rainforest’ outside.
“This is how our school seeks to overcome human-wildlife conflict: by allowing wildlife to return to the wild.”
Jacob Tan Guanrui
Senior Teacher (Biology)
Commonwealth Secondary School
3rd April 2017