Blue-tailed Bee-eater in the rain

posted in: Bee-eaters, Feathers-maintenance | 1

On 27th October 2010 Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS was driving in Chemor (Perak, Malaysia) when he noticed a pair of Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus philippinus) enjoying the rain. He stopped the car and photographed the birds enjoying the rain. One was enjoying the rain more (left) than the other.

“I have seen many birds enjoy water but usually on a leaf, puddle, bird-bath or pond. Not many use the rain – one of these two was obviously enjoying it, despite the strong breeze. I watched for 10 minutes and they were still there when I left,” added Amar.

Besides using water to keep their feathers in top form, birds also use sand as in sand bathing, see HERE. They also make use of ants as they release formic acid that has an effect on the parasites thriving on the feathers when disturbed.

  1. Bird Ecology Study Group Birds bathing in the rain

    […] Recently field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng was pleasantly delighted when she encountered birds perching in the open to enjoy the rain. There were a few Blue-tailed Bee-eaters (Merops philippinus) crouching low on the exposed ends of Casuarina branches (above). They had their wings splayed with tail feathers fanned. This allowed the raindrops to soak through their feathers. Regularly the birds shook themselves vigorously to remove excess water. No doubt after their bath the feathers would be preened and if the sun was out they would sun themselves. In this way they keep their feathers in good condition. See also HERE. […]

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