About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Are the birds “bathing” in the dust?

I recently saw a series of mysterious divots appearing in my garden evenly spaced, two inches deep, and in a row near the house. I couldn't figure out what was happening until I saw a House Sparrow dusting himself. Why are they doing this? DZ ~ East Lansing, MI

Dust bathing is not as common as water bathing but it can reduce moisture and oil, align feather barbs and remove external parasites. So the birds at the end of your driveway probably are taking a dust bath. Some common species that you’ll see dust bathing are sparrows, flickers and thrashers.


Anonymous said...

I've seen them doing that in the kids sandbox.

Anonymous said...

I once saw a European Magpie bathe in snow.