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Why do birds bath? Questions my grandchildren ask me
Questions my Grandchildren asked me: Number one - Why do birds bath?
As we observe behavior in nature some interesting questions come up, often asked by children because they do have enquiring minds. So here comes the first of the questions my grandchildren have asked me. You may also want to know the answer. In fact I wanted to know it too and so I looked it up.
We call a water holding receptacle in our garden a “bird bath”; why not a “bird fountain” or “bird drinking place"? If you watch you will realize that birds do come and drink water from these places because they, like all of us, need a regular intake of fluids. Often however, as the photos show, they actually come to bath. This can present some interesting opportunities to just watch bird behaviour and also take some interesting photos. As the urban landscape has grown, drinking areas for birds and also places for them to bath have decreased, and so many thoughtful home owners provide bird baths.
Many birds bathe in water on a regular basis because this helps them to keep their feathers in good condition. After bathing some birds protect their feathers using special waterproof oil that comes out of a gland under their tail. In dry area birds will bathe in sand in order to remove lice and other organisms that gather in their feathers. This also helps to remove old feathers so that new ones can grow. Some birds that do not have oil glands, produce soft feathers that produce a fine talc substance which also protects their other feathers. Parrots and Hawks are two of the kinds of birds that do this.
The world of nature is full of interesting questions. I hope you found this one interesting. If so we may look at some more!