On the evening of 19th November 2008, a Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) was spotted perching on a branch of my curry bush (Myrraya koenigii) tree. It was raining heavily and the sunbird was on an exposed branch, moving about, enjoying the rain drops.
As the raindrops fell on the bird, it moved its body about, fluffing its feathers to rinse off excess droplets and at the same time allowing the rain to fall on the inner parts of the wings. At the same time the bird was vigorously preening its feathers.
I was sheltered in my kitchen and managed a few images. It was about five minutes later that it flew off to a nearby palm where it was reasonably sheltered. When the rain finally stopped, I spotted the bird taking a leaf bath – wondering whether it was the same bird.
An earlier post shows the Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) enjoying the rain at the same tree.
Bird regularly bath in pools of water, in the rain, indulge in leaf bathing after rain or after someone waters the plants in the garden. They also indulge in dust bathing and anting – all these in the name of feather maintenance.