Bathing Crow

We got a little more rain last week, complete with a pleasant drop in temperature on Tuesday, but I wasn’t able to get out to the park for lunch until the following day when it hit 100 degrees again. I walked slowly and sat down on a bench near the tree I’d put peanuts under for the young crows. It seemed like a pretty usual, hot day with nothing much going on, maybe too hot to even take a picture. The grass was noticeably greener from the last time I took pictures, but it’s grass.

Then I noticed some European Starlings bathing in a nice big puddle that was left from the rain the night before. I like to see birds bathing, even Starlings. To see anybody bathing after the prolonged drought and heat was good enough.

I wonder if one young crow was new to the idea though. I personally have never seen a crow bathe. I started taking pictures of this crow when he first stood in the water. I wondered if he’d gone to wash off a peanut or something, which is one way I’ve seen crows use puddles, but he seems to be contemplating his reflection instead.

Or maybe this was the moment of decision about whether to bathe or not, because after he tasted the water, the next thing he did was start bathing in it.

And he was so delighted with himself, he looked right at me as if to say, “yes, it’s as fun as it looks.”

Then he proceeded to bathe again. For the full demonstration, this is how it’s done.

Bend your knees (birds’ knees bend exactly the opposite of the way humans’ do, by the way – do not try this at home). Put your head face down in the water (reminiscent of your first swimming lesson, perhaps).

Down. (“Now put your head in the water.”)

Now start flapping your wings.

Voila!

2 thoughts on “Bathing Crow

  1. Great series of photos Lisa! The Crows as well as the E. Starlings love to bathe in puddles or small pools of water. I have pictures of both species doing that. 🙂

  2. Thanks, H.J.! I shouldn’t be surprised to see crows bathe, but I guess this is the first puddle that’s been big enough. The next biggest puddle is Lake Michigan…

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