Watching, Attracting and Feeding Birds in New York
with Sam Crowe
More about water
Birds not only need water for drinking but also for bathing. Dirty feathers hamper their ability to fly as well as their ability to insulate themselves against cold weather. Aside from these needs, birds also seem to just plain enjoy a quick "dip in the pool" or a nice, long "soak in the tub." If you've ever had the opportunity to observe an immature bird during one of its first experiences in a birdbath you've most certainly noticed the similarities to a child's first time in a baby pool, as they jump in and out, over and over again, in absolute delight.
Hummingbirds generally prefer to leaf bathe but even hummingbirds will splash around in a birdbath.
Here are a few photographs of a Purple-crowned Fairy (from Costa Rica) enjoying a dip in the pool.
The photographs were taken by Glenn Bartley, a frequent contributor to the Birdzilla.com network. Glenn leads many photography trips to Mexico, Central and South America. Check out his web site for more great photos and information on his products and services.
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Head feathers on some species often molted at the same time.
Every summer we receive numerous images and questions about bald-headed birds. The situation is actually fairly common and is nothing to worry about.
The situation occurs when birds molt their feathers at the end of summer. In some cases the feathers around the head are molted all at once, leaving lots of bare skin and a bald-headed appearance. Blue Jays and Northern Cardinals seem to have this happen more than other species but they are not alone. Unless there is some underlying illness (rare) the feathers will grow back quickly.