Spiny-cheeked Honeyeat

Subject: Spiny-cheeked Honeyeat
Date: Mon, 7 May 2001 10:57:53 +1000
I've found this to be a common method of bathing for a number of species, 
particularly honeyeaters. I've observed many White-plumed, Fuscous, 
Spiny-cheeked and Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters do it. All plunges such as this 
have been followed by long bouts of preening. Most of these observations have 
come from watching dams waiting for Regent Honeyeaters to turn up, and also on 
bird banding trips.

I remember discussing this sort of thing with Henry Nix (from ANU and on BA's 
committee). Henry reckoned the smaller the bird, the deeper the water. Whereas 
Brown Thornbills would simply dive into the deepest water head first, a Crimson 
Rosella would walk into the shallow edge and bathe trying not to get its head 

Anyone else have similar experiences?


Anthony Overs
Recovery Planning Officer
Threatened Species Unit
Conservation Programs and Planning Division
Southern Directorate
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
PO Box 2115 Queanbeyan NSW 2620
Ph: (02) 6298 9730  Fax: (02) 6299 4281

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 -----Original Message-----
From:  [SMTP:
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2001 10:39 AM
Subject: Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater behaviour

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------  --
While walking past a small dam I saw a  Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater fly down 

from a nearby tree, land briefly (perhaps one second) on the surface of
the water, well out in the dam, and then take off again.  It (or possibly 

another bird) repeated this action about half a minute later.
Has anyone else observed similar behaviour.  It seems strange that the
bird should use such a risky methood of bathing rather than splash at the 

water's edge.

Robert Read
Alice Springs

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