Dustbathing by finches

To: "Philip Veerman" <>, "Birding-aus \(E-mail\)" <>, <>
Subject: Dustbathing by finches
From: "shaun bagley" <>
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2005 19:23:28 +1000
Many years ago (back in the lat 60's) I picked a Zebra Finch out of a mist net adjacent to a well on the Canning Stock Route; No.6 Pierre Springs if memory serves. The bird left red dust all over my hands and those of my schoolmate as we undertook the ticklish task of getting it out of the net. It was particularly entwined because a predator of some sort had been feeding on the captives of the net. I remember it very well because there was a bird we could not identify because it had lost most of its head and some part of its torso at the hands of this predator and all of the other captives had clearly struggled in fear at its presence. Usually it was fairly simple task to unhook the birds from the net but this time it took extra care to release the captives so embedded were they.
I can only assume that the Zebra Finch in question had been dust bathing in the red dunes thereabouts.
I would also add that in Swaziland, I have observed Cut-Throats dust-bathing in fields adjacent to my parent's former house. Since they are pretty terrestrial I was not surprised.
Shaun Bagley
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