We are having a hot summer here in Adelaide and given that my new garden
now has two bird baths I have been watching carefully which birds come in to use
them . By far the greater time is taken by Musk Lorikeets spread over the whole
day, interrupted by sorties of Noisy Miners which scare them away. The Muskies
are in quite large numbers, like 20 or 30, and hang around in the low branches
of trees near the baths all the time, using the baths at every opportunity for
drinking and bathing. The miners number similarly but only seem to drink and not
bathe. Other "parroty" types which spend a lot of time at the baths are
small groups of Eastern and Adelaide Rosellas, and Rainbow Lorikeets, but again
more for drinking than bathing.
Other birds seen using the baths are Magpie Larks, many Crested Pigeons and
Spotted Turtle-Doves, a pair of Blackbirds, and a family of White-backed
Magpies. The New Holland and White-plumed H/E's seem too scared by all the
activity to come near, although I can hear them in the upper reaches of the
trees with the Striated Pardalotes. But again, the dominant species
present at the baths are the various parrot types and I'm wondering whether
these need water more often than others. Is there any body of information
on these relative needs for water ? It seems well known that smaller birds, i.e.
finches ( which I don't have any of, not even House Sparrows, have a need
to take water frequently, but in the case of , for instance, the Rosellas, these
are fairly big birds. I do also have a group of some 15-20
Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and the odd Little Raven and BFCS around the place,
but they never come down to the water.
What are other people observing at their bird baths ? Are there observable
patterns of species and time spent drinking and/or bathing.?