Oriental White-eye taking a bath

posted in: Feathers-maintenance | 0


Harshit Singhal is a young birder from India who sent in this account of his observation on 15th March 2008.

“I have kept a 3 inch deep bath tub on the ground just besides the 
guava tree (Psidium guajava) and birds such as fantail flycatcher, Jungle babbler (Turdoides striata), Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) have often been seen bathing in it.

“But on 10th March, an Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) perched on the guava tree and then hesitantly moved to the top of the bath tub (left below)

“It appeared very vigilant and cautious and after making sure that there was no enemies 
nearby, it plunged into the water and took a fanatical bath. After 
flapping its wings four to five times, it flew to the nearby Chakotra tree (Citrus maxima) 
and started grooming its feathers.

“It was a fascinating sight for 
me as I have read in field guides that white-eyes are completely arboreal and do not descend on the ground.”

It may be arboreal but the bird needs a bath and it needs to come to the ground for it.

Image of white-eye by YC while that of basin with white-eye perching along the rim by Harshit.

Follow YC Wee:

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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