Favorite Bird Moments: We Want a Bath!

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A dry Victoria crowned pigeon relaxes in the Zoo's Owens Aviary.

A dry Victoria crowned pigeon relaxes in the Zoo’s Owens Aviary.

Recently, I have written a number of stories about birds enjoying their baths (see my post Favorite Bird Moments: Splashing and Bug Collecting and an article in September’s ZOONOOZ titled “The Curious Habits of Bathing Birds). At the risk of having to rename this blog “Mike writes about bathing birds…again,” I have one more story (with video!) I just have to share about some water-loving birds.

As I was hosing the walkway in the Owens Aviary before the Zoo opened, the family of Victoria crowned pigeons Goura victoria walked into the path of the spray. I quickly pointed the hose away to avoid hitting them with the stream…but they kept following the water. After a couple of attempts to skirt around Mom, Dad, and youngster, I realized the only way I would be left alone would be to soften the stream and allow the pigeons to bathe. The result was three drenched birds, sprawled out on the walkway! Check out the video below to see just how much these pigeons enjoyed their bath!

Mike Grue is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo. Read his previous post, Favorite Bird Moments: Father and Fledge.