Now that daily temperatures are soaring into the 90s and above and heat indexes regularly reaching triple digits, backyard birds seem to be bathing more often than normal.  Some of the birds that are regularly bathing in the three birdbaths my wife and I maintain include northern cardinals, summer tanagers, brown thrashers, eastern bluebirds, orchard orioles, gray catbirds, chipping sparrows, northern mockingbirds and house finches. Although chimney swifts nest in our chimney and are heard and seen each day, we have never spotted one bathing in one of our birdbaths.  The truth of the matter is we never will.

       The reason for this is that chimney swifts never take the time to land on a birdbath, hop into the water, and begin fluttering its wings to ensure all of its feathers are soaked with water.  Instead, they spend their days flying about feeding.

Tube or cigar-shaped body with long curved wings and a short tail. Dark gray-brown overall.
ç Sean Williams|Macaulay Library


       However, this is not to say they do not bathe. To a chimney swift, a bath consists of nothing more than flying just above pond or river and suddenly ever so briefly dropping down and bouncing off the surface of the water. It then immediately shakes its body and resumes hunting for flying insects, Talk about a quick bath!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.