Bathing birds

To: Laurie Knight <>
Subject: Bathing birds
From: Chris Charles <>
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2020 17:12:42 +1000
Hi Laurie,
I have had a birdbath on my back deck At Chatswood NSW for many years. It is 
just a large cat litter tray cantilevered out from the handrail about 3m above 
ground level. It is deep enough for Currawongs to just stand on the bottom. 
Sometimes I set up a camera trap there. 
S-c Cockies come to drink only & command respect from all other species but 
generally wait for other species to finish. 
Satin Bowerbirds are next on the pecking order ladder & are very enthusiastic 
bathers often spending 10 mins diving under, surfacing & splashing, shaking & 
then diving in again. 
Little Wattlebirds are the most athletic bathers, diving in deep from fast 
flight at one end & zooming out The other to pirouette in flight & do it again, 
often in line astern.  I have contemplated a glass aquarium to photograph them 
underwater, maybe in the future. 
Much more action on a hot spring day. 
Chris Charles
Sent from my iPhone

> On 13 Jun 2020, at 11:54 am, Laurie Knight <> wrote:
> Like many other Australians, I have been working at home during the Covid 
> Crisis.  I’ve found the best place to work is on a table on the back deck of 
> my house, where I am out with the birdlife.  The best birds from the deck 
> during that time were a couple of Glossy Blacks flying overhead in search of 
> casuarinas.
> Most days I hear the characteristic plopping sounds of Noisy Miners making 
> use of the swimming pool. They like to swoop down from either the pool fence 
> or a nearby bottlebrush, briefly settle on the water (sometimes bobbing their 
> back under water) before turning around on the water and flying back to their 
> launching point.  After a feather shuffle or two they generally repeat the 
> cycle another couple of times before flying off.
> Blue-faced Honeyeaters sometimes also join the party, though they are less 
> confident in the water than the miners.  They have more off a skipping 
> approach, just doing a belly skim and flying off in the same direction.
> The Pied Butcherbirds don’t use the pool.  They wait till it rains then get 
> wet by plopping into the foliage of a lillipilly and enjoy the shower from 
> the dripping leaves.
> The lorikeets, crows and pigeons have not shown an interest in bathing.
> What are other people’s observations of birds bathing in “deep” water [water 
> too deep to stand in]?  Have people observed large birds [other than 
> waterbirds] bathing or species with interesting bathing styles?
> Regards, Laurie.
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