“In January 2013, a flock of Red-billed Gulls (Larus novaehollandiae, Maori names: Tarapunga, Akiaki) was intently engaged in communal bathing at a freshwater inlet near the Estuary of Avon/Heathcote, South Island, New Zealand (above).

“Their typical bathing routine includes: (a) repeated plunging of the head into the water (above) and (b) vigorous flapping of wings on the water surface (below).

“These gulls appeared to be enjoying every moment of their bath, which must have been absolutely refreshing and invigorating. I was actually tempted to join them, but alas the water was too shallow for me.

“Brief video clips of these bathing beauties (in actual speed and slow motion) may be previewed above and below.”

Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
17th February 2013

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