Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dirt Bath

Last week I was chatting with a visitor at Bluebonnet Swamp who hailed from Seattle. He was quite taken with our migratory and summer birds. As we stood by the mulberry tree, a couple of brown thrashers started...well...thrashing around in the dirt. I had never seen that activity before and since my new-found friend seemed to know a lot about birds, I asked him what they were doing. He said they sometimes take a dirt bath to rid themselves of mites. It was quite a spectacle.







40 comments:

Andy said...

Wow! Fantastic photos!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Yep, dirt baths are a common ritual. LOVE all the photos, but that 2nd one with the dust blowing around is best in my opinion!!

EG CameraGirl said...

That thrasher appears to have been very excited about his dirt bath!

Weekend-Windup said...

Feels cool. Enjoying mud bath!
I have enjoyed reading all your post and i am a follower of your blog. I wish you to visit my blog and be a member of mine!

Anvilcloud said...

Is that why birds do that? I never knew.

Roan said...

Who would have thought. Nice piece of information. Great pics!

orchid Miyako said...

Dearest Gail;
Seen of the brown thrasher taking a dirt bath!!! While I was scrolling down your fotos, I was so surprised with his posture of second from the last. I got it that the feather made me confused p;)
Thank you very much for sharing these pictures.

Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Really nice shots, Gail. I liked the sequence, especially the second and third. In the second, the thrasher seems to really be into the activity. In the third, he seems to be aware of his audience and a little embarrassed.

R. Mac Wheeler said...

Birds are so cool.

Good shots.

Amy Burzese said...

Oh, no . . . but funny. I've been watching one thrash about in the birdbath. And, I was excited to see an Indigo Bunting at the feeder. It was dusk so photos aren't good, but at least I got him documented. Camera equipment is packed up now in the basement as we still have tornado risk today (and feeders are down). I hope he comes back when I get the feeders back up.

Betty Manousos said...

those photos are the cutest ever!
made me smile.

fantastic work my friend!
happy tuesday~


i linked you you today!!
xoxo

Karen said...

I always wondered what they were doing. Terrific captures, and he looks quite pleased with himself in the last shot!

TexWisGirl said...

i knew that about the mites. :) love these birds and LOVE your shots!

Brian King said...

I've seen birds do this, but have never photographed it. Nice photos! Thrashers have intense eyes.

hootnonny said...

Guess this one's name is Pig Pen! I've seen birds do this, but never knew why. If I remember right, the Brown Thrasher is the Georgia State Bird.

Irma said...

What a great photo's, Gail.
Beautiful the brown thrasher take a dirt bath.
Greetings Irma

A View From A Brown Dog said...

My girls take dirt or dust baths all the time, natures way of removing bugs from them. Wonderful photos!

Linda R said...

Awesome photos once again my friend! I have seen birds and squirrel roll around in the dirt like that! So they are just de-bugging!! Hehe!!!

Hugs~

Stephanie said...

This has to be one of my favorite photo series from you - these are amazing!

Hugs to you!

June Caedmon said...

It's always fun to see birds doing something out of the ordinary! Great captures - love that yellow eye!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Great captures of all this action.

nookworm said...

Mites - YIPES! A long time ago I clothespinned an oriole nest on my clothesline and reeled it in and out to the big tree from the house, watching the babies grow. The nest came down when a big tree was felled and the mother was frantic. She fed them from my hang up recovery. After they fledged, I reeled in the nest and it was FULL of crawling mites. FULL!

Beth @ "E." Lizard Breath Speaks said...

i love it when birds do that ... it is so fun to see. glad you caught it in pics. ( :

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Oh my Gail!! You were at the right place at the right time!! Chickens do this all the time - guess it's the "birdie" in them!!
Love these shots!! Fun!

Debbie said...

loved this series and i did not know that about the mites!!

very cool yellow eyes!!

bailey-road.com said...

I love Brown Thrashers. This is a great series.

Hilary said...

Great captures. You were surely in the right place at the right time.

LC said...

Great capture. A perfect picture of avian proactive health consciousness!

LC said...

Great capture. A perfect picture of avian proactive health consciousness!

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

When I lived in NCAA, I saw many Thrashers do this. The dirt in my garden is too loamy for dirt baths, but they try, they try,

Rosemary Aubut said...

Great shots Gail! I have never seen this before either. Mother Nature is never boring!

Carole M. said...

a great photo opportunity, and nice to meet up with another birder

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Ha, interesting behavior! Talk about being in the right place at the right time with camera in hand!!

Barbara Shallue said...

This cracked me up! And immediately reminded me of my guinea Frankie. ...http://barbarashallue.typepad.com/musing_in_long_hollow/2009/03/frankie-an-afternoon-at-the-guinea-spa.html

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I didn't know about dirt baths. You got some good shots!

By the way, I love the name "Bluebonnet Swamp." :-)

Willow said...

What a fantastic series of shots !

eileeninmd said...

Fun captures of the dirt bath! Well done! Have a happy day!

Kim Stevens said...

I just saw a little bird the other day doing that - I just thought it was because he couldn't find water - good to know! Love that you captured it all on film.

Ida said...

Fun and Fascinating.

Donna said...

My birds will take dirt baths if we are having a dry summer...but we are flooded again so they are taking baths although most t=stay out in the rain.