How To Bathe, Part 2

Birds may bathe everyday, and some passerines have been recorded bathing five or more times a day. In winter and in arid locations, access to water can obviously limit this frequency. “In order to make the flow of water efficient, the movement of the feather tracts is combined with other movements in the following sequence: (1) Fluffing the feathers, combined with flicking the wings, (2) ducking the head and forebody under water, (3) rolling the head and body in water, and (4) lifting the forebody out of the water,combined with the lowering of the rearbody. Then follows a pause and the whole cycle is repeated.” ~ M. Slessers, “Bathing Behavior of Land Birds” The Auk, Vol. 87, No. 1 (Jan., 1970), pp. 91-99.Who, really, likes water in the eyes?Dip.Roll to port.Starboard. (This oddly reminded me of the SS Normandie, which capsized on the North River in 1942 as it was being converted into a troop ship.)

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