Birds leaf-bathing at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

posted in: Feathers-maintenance | 2

GS Soh was at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the morning of 15th February 2009 and documented a pair of Copper-throated Sunbird (Leptocoma calcostetha) (above: male left, female right), Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) (below left) and an Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) (below right) enjoying a leaf-bath.

February 2009 was a hot month with intermittent rain. The birds must be feeling the heat. As soon as there was a bout of rain, some birds must have enjoyed the droplets by not taking shelter. Others, like these birds, took advantage of the droplets that collected on the larger leaves after the rain to enjoy a leaf-bath.

These birds typically land on the leaf and moved their bodies about to wet their feathers. Once the birds had wiped the leaf clean, they moved away to preen.

Leaf-bathing is one method of feather maintenance, that includes anting, water bathing and preening.

Images by GS Goh.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

2 Responses

  1. See Toh

    I was at SBWR on Saturday 21 Feb 2009 morning and also many cooper-throated sunbirds, olive-backed sunbirds, scarlet-backed flowerpecker and oriental white-eye enjoying leaf-bath at the pond just before the entrance (where they collect entrance fee) to the reserve. It did not rain that morning but the leaves were wet with dew.

    Many serious photographers (around 4-5) were there snapping away. Hope they will also post their pictures here.

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