Do birds take water bath only when weather is hot?

posted in: Feathers-maintenance | 0

Reading an earlier blog on the bathing of a Little Heron chick rescued from the wild, Susan Wong commented that she noticed a small flock of Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus) bathing in the many puddles of water formed outside her house.

Susan is of the view that birds bathe to cool themselves during a hot day. The said mynas were bathing at 7.30 am when the sun had yet to rise.

Unfortunately Susan did not have her camera with her that morning so instead, we have provided an image of the Eurasian Tree Sparrows ( Passer montanus ) having a bath in a puddle of water (below).

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Yes, birds do bathe on a hot day to cool themselves. A juvenile Buffy Fish Owl (Ketupa ketupu) was observed in the Lower Peirce forest in April 2007 to fly into the water for a bath during the morning or evening when the weather was hot and sunny.

But they also bathe to clean their feathers of dust and ectoparasites, and this may not necessarily be on a hot day.

Besides bathing in puddles formed after rain, they also take advantage of the water droplets that collect on leaves after a heavy spray of water by a gardener or after a drizzle.

Susan Wong
Malaysia
January 2008
(Image by Chan Yoke Meng)

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