Sunday, 15 December 2013

A sand bath

A group of sparrows sat by a hedge on a local wildlife reserve. A male came to the ground and started dust bathing on a hollow in the sandy soil, using the same movements bird display when water bathing. Sparrows are known for bathing in water and also in dust. Both are ways to keep plumage in top condition and might help with keeping parasite load reduced. Other birds known to sand bath include wrens, larks, bee eaters, some raptors, hoopoes and chickens, most of them live in habitats where standing water is scarce.
 As bathing, or preening, individuals of a group will join in a communal dust bath as shown in this photo.


  1. Thank you for all your fascinating posts, from which I have learnt a lot. A very happy Christmas to you, and a splendid New Year.

  2. Thank you Ralph, Merry Christmas to you too!