Do Crested Pigeons Shower?

To: "Canberrabirds" <>
Subject: Do Crested Pigeons Shower?
From: "Esme Barker & Bruce Ramsay" <>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 20:45:28 +1100
Many years ago in Brisbane, I kept homing pigeons - the regular variety and also the exhibition variety, known (in those days at least) as Showpen Homers.

Both of those varieties used to sunbathe like that (usually in a morning sun patch on the floor of their coop) and they would also rain/water bathe in the same way - generally on the back lawn under a fine spray from the garden hose. They would preen extensively after the water bathing - so I always assumed it was a grooming-related function.

They never seemed to groom much after the sun bathing though. I read somewhere (it was over 25 years ago and I cant recall if it was in a pigeon book or a more general bird book) that the function of sun bathing wasnt clearly understood but that it was thought to possibly be related to a de-lousing effect. My birds were regularly treated with an anti feather louse powder and didnt have lice - but they regularly sunbathed anyway, so maybe the behaviour is innate or maybe it has a purpose other than dissuading lice.

In Canberra, I have seen Magpies sunbathing in a similar way.

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