Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Water Is for the Birds!

Northern Cardinal
The reason birds bathe in water or saturate themselves with us is to actively maintain their plumage. In order to keep feathers, functional requires constant care by birds. Birds, depending on the species use certain movements to wet i'ts feathers. They can wade, fluff the feathers to expose bare skin between their bases and rapidly flick the wings in and out of the water. They  then submerge the breast, roll the breast vigorously back and forth and with the head thrown back dousing the feathers on the back.
Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting


Bird's like chickadees will dart in and out of the water, immersing rolling briefly and then returned to store the flick the wings, and vibrate the feathers and then repeat the procedure. We watched a scissor tail flycatcher briefly dunk its its body into the water. Leave and then come back and return to repeat the process.

Summer Tanager

Painted Bunting

Summer Tanager

Black-crested Titmouse
Birds also use the water for drinking and maintaining their fluid level. During our visits to the blinds, because the temperature was in the 90s there was an awful lot of drinking and bathing activity going on and we got to watch many different species on how they bathed.

Common Ground Dove

Common Ground Dove

Northern Bobwhite
There were times I envied the birds, since they could get into the water and cool themselves down. I had plenty of water to drink, but none to bathe in. I did cool myself down by utilizing a sports towel, which works by evaporating water from it, and cooling you down. The time that the towel worked was when we had a breeze, since humidity was between 90 and 100%. I bought my towel on Amazon and it was deftly worth the money and it helped me maintain my cool. Frogg Togg Chilly Pad (Blue)

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