When you think of a bird bath, you’re probably picturing tiny little songbirds fluttering and chirping in harmony as they bathe in a pristine backyard bowl of water. Maybe a scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves? Or maybe something like this?
But cute little songbirds aren’t the only birds that enjoy a cooling, feather-cleaning bath. Even the big raptors such as peregrine falcons hop into pools of water to drench and clean themselves. Check this out:
Now, you probably never expected to see a falcon do that! But just like other birds, peregrine falcons have feathers, and they must be properly maintained in order to last. While the reasons why birds take baths are still unclear, scientists strongly believe that birds take baths to keep their feathers in good condition. Over time, the sun, feather-eating mites, bacteria, and the usual wear and tear take their toll on a bird’s feathers, so bathing probably helps increase their feathers’ lifespan.
To further support this, even bald eagles participate in this behavior! Have a look at the bathing bald eagle in the video below! If a peregrine falcon in a bird bath seems odd and fascinating, a bald eagle taking a bath is even more bizarre and amazing!