Some years ago while studying under one of the trees outside the UTech Library, I saw a few birds frolicking in a puddle of water in the lawn near the fire hydrant. They splashed, squawked loudly, spread their wings, and swooped in and out of the water for a good eight or ten minutes. Now that’s what I call an enjoyable bath!
The many scenes of bathing birds over the past are only memories for me. Scenes of birds sliding down banana leaves covered with morning dew; sliding gleefully several times before they fly off in the morning sun. Then there is the scene of one bird darting back and forth unto the car’s side mirror that was covered with dew from the crisp morning air.
I have always wanted to capture such scenes, so when I saw one of our lovebirds bathing I took a few photos of him. This lovebird is a black masked lovebird (Agapornis personata) who takes a bath most times when I refill his water container. I read that birds bathe or wet their feathers as a means of maintaining their plumage; they also take dust baths.
Some birds take several water baths each day to keep cool and to keep clean.I understand that birds take dust baths to maintain an optimum amount of oil on their feathers; while they sunbathe as a means of stimulating skin parasites into activity so they can be more readily picked off.