Red-crowned Barbet drinking

posted in: Miscellaneous, Videography | 0

Birds are not often seen drinking water. This is because they get their water from the food they take. But how many of us take any notice of them when they do drink?


Jeremiah Loei’s video of a Red-crowned Barbet (Megalaima rafflesii) taking a drink in a forest pool highlights an interesting point.

The barbet, as with many other birds, is unable to suck in water. Instead it has to take small amounts, dipping its bill into the water to do so. And each time it does so, it tips back its head to allow the water to run down its throat.

However, pigeons and doves dip their bill into the water and suck up the water. They do not need to raise their bill upwards.

This is one occasion where videos can demonstrate how birds drink better than still shots.

And do we know what other species of our local birds drink like doves and pigeons? I am sure not many do.

Well, the next time you are out in the field and come across birds in and around water, keep and eye on how they drink – and in the process contribute to our local knowledge of bird behavior.

Jeremiah Loei
December 2015

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.

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