About two months ago, a number of bird enthusiasts armed with their ultra-zoom lenses converged at a spot in Bukit Kiara.
They parked themselves in front of a tree by the side of the road leading up to the Bukit Kiara walking trail to witness a pair of rufous woodpeckers about to start a family.
The parents-to-be painstakingly took turns to peck at a tree trunk to build their nest with wood softened by disease and fungal infestations. They pecked a deep hole in the trunk.
According to the bird watchers, on average, it takes two woodpeckers about two weeks to excavate a cavity.
When the nest hole was completed, eggs were laid and subsequently hatched.
One day, two cute baby woodpeckers could be heard screaming for food. Mummy and daddy took turns searching for food.
In the early days, the young ones were fed with regurgitated food. As the babies grew and started eating solid food, their appetites shot up.
So, mummy and daddy had to fly in and out of the nest more often tirelessly hunting for more food to feed the hungry babies.
Can you believe that all these were captured on camera? And it took place within our friendly Bukit Kiara neighbourhood?
The bunch of extremely patient bird enthusiasts had a field day capturing the magical moments come rain or shine. They were there as early as 7am and would leave only after darkness set in.
These passionate photographers shared their stunning pictures in their WhatApp groups and soon there was a large following on the story of the woodpeckers.
The National Geographic-worthy pictures had indeed captivated the hearts and minds of those who viewed them. Even regular Bukit Kiara walkers and joggers joined the bird enthusiasts to see the ‘live’ happenings.
The sad part is the story had come to an end.
As the babies grew, they would fly for a short distance and returned to the nest as they were still dependent on their parents for food.
When the babies were sufficiently mature and their wings stronger, they finally flew out for good and never returned. Hence the photographers came in droves to take some good shots before this story ended.
Although the bird watchers and Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) community had bid their farewells to this woodpecker family, the bird enthusiasts are confident that somewhere nearby, another couple of birds are eagerly getting their nest ready to start their family.
Yes, everyone including the walkers and joggers, are on the lookout. There are positive indications that a couple is considering the feasibility of using the abandoned empty nest to start a family. The bird enthusiasts are keeping their fingers crossed.
The beautiful and stunning pictures reminded the public, especially TTDI and neighbouring residents, of the natural beauty of Bukit Kiara and the increasing realisation that we better appreciate the beauty and charm of Bukit Kiara before it is gone forever!
This begs the question – with such beauty and exquisiteness around, shouldn’t the authorities let Bukit Kiara remain as it is, without any man-made structures that will only drive such birds away?
Shouldn’t our future generations also get to enjoy what we are enjoying and relishing now?
The story of the woodpecker family is just one instance.
Hence there are compelling reasons to oppose the construction of high-end condos at the base of Bukit Kiara, namely at Taman Rimba Kiara.
This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.