Birds Bathing In Puddles

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First, if you are in dire need of spring/cute/amazing, there's a live video cam on an Allen's hummingbird nest. The chicks have both just hatched so should be fun to watch beyond the female incubating.


Part of what made my golden eagle survey last Saturday so much fun was that it was that we were getting a much need thaw after several days of sub zero temps. The bright sun and 30 degree temps were so warm, I had to roll my window down to cool off. Puddles formed on the sides of the roads made impromptu bird baths for birds, as seen in the above photo of cedar waxwings and a robin.

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Many of the waxwings flew down not only for a drink, but also for a quick bathe. This was on a lonely country road, so they were not in any danger of being interrupted by cars, but I did wonder about the water quality. The road would have had salt and sand treatment and that would be mixed in with the melted snow and ice. The flock did not spend too much time at the puddle. When I see waxwings going for the roof top puddle in the fall, the flock will hang out and bathe for at least a half an hour. Here, a few birds would fly down, sip a little, splash a little and then fly into the trees. Another group would follow, but they did not stay. I wonder if they could taste the difference in the water or if it had more to do with chillier temperatures?