Happy World Water Day

Sparrow bathingPhoto:
Image: Mike Bostock

This World Water Day, we are not going to focus on the water crisis worldwide and impending water shortages but want to remember the life-giving energy of the wet element and how little each of us need for his or her daily comfort. So grab a cup of coffee or tea and relax for a few minutes with birds bathing. We even got a video of a bird totally enjoying himself (herself?) in a glass of water. Reminds us of those perfect, hot childhood days when a garden hose or a sprinkler was the source of endless fun…

This Western Scrub-Jay has found a stylish bird bath:
Western Scrub-JayPhoto:
Image: Jessica Merz

Water is not even needed as these two sparrows prove:

Sparrow dustingPhoto:
Image: Charles Lam

Sparrow dust bathingPhoto:
Image: Chris Gampat

Looks like birds have turned a necessity, namely plumage maintenance, into a lot of fun. And if no excess water is available, dusting will do in arid areas even if in well-watered ones, bathing is preferred. Some bird species like wrens and house sparrows do both however – they often follow a water bath with a dust bath, possibly to take advantage of the dust’s anti-parasitic function. But regardless of whether our feathered friends dart in and out of the water, roll in it or simply spread their wings in the rain, it’s fun to watch. Here’s a video of a wild sparrow taking a bath in a glass of water.

Why we love this video so much is because it shows how little water makes this wild bird happy, fulfilling its drinking and bathing needs, while also sharing this private moment with its human friends who luckily had a camera at hand.

We first saw the video on arbroath and standford.edu has more about birds’ bathing and dusting behaviour.

We’ll even throw in a free album.