Yellow-vented Bulbul bathing in the rain

posted in: Feathers-maintenance | 3


Not all birds take shelter once it rains. Not this Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) anyway. It perched on a branch shaded very lightly by the leaves of the curry bush (Myrraya koenigii). The droplets of rain fell on its plumage. The bird shook them off and fluffed its feathers.


It was obviously having a bath.

This went on for about four minutes and the bird moved from point to point. And all the time it was enjoying the rain.

Then the rain stopped and the bulbul moved to an exposed branch, stretched out fully and sang a few of its short-syllable song. It then flew off.

Bathing is one way of keeping the feathers in top form. Preening, anting, dust and sun bathing are other methods.

YC Wee
April 2008

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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.

3 Responses

  1. straycat

    have observed this behaviour in the yellow-vented bulbuls that hang around my house. when it’s not raining, they appear to enjoy having a bowl of water left out for them to splash in – splash, shake, fight for space in the bowl, splash, shake…

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