Bathing birds

Like many other Australians, I have been working at home during the Covid Crisis. I’ve found the best place to work is on a table on the back deck of my house, where I am out with the birdlife. The best birds from the deck during that time were a couple of Glossy Blacks flying overhead in search of casuarinas.

Most days I hear the characteristic plopping sounds of Noisy Miners making use of the swimming pool. They like to swoop down from either the pool fence or a nearby bottlebrush, briefly settle on the water (sometimes bobbing their back under water) before turning around on the water and flying back to their launching point. After a feather shuffle or two they generally repeat the cycle another couple of times before flying off.

Blue-faced Honeyeaters sometimes also join the party, though they are less confident in the water than the miners. They have more off a skipping approach, just doing a belly skim and flying off in the same direction.

The Pied Butcherbirds don’t use the pool. They wait till it rains then get wet by plopping into the foliage of a lillipilly and enjoy the shower from the dripping leaves.

The lorikeets, crows and pigeons have not shown an interest in bathing.

What are other people’s observations of birds bathing in “deep” water [water too deep to stand in]? Have people observed large birds [other than waterbirds] bathing or species with interesting bathing styles?

Regards, Laurie.

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