Bee-eaters taking a dip

24th October 2011
Today, I spent a few hours watching hippos from a hide on the river bank. While the hippos were wallowing, and not doing all that much, I focussed on the White-fronted bee-eaters who were nesting in the river bank. They were flying regular sorties out over the river to catch insects which they returned to the nest to feed their chick. But occasionally, they would fly down low over the water and dive in headfirst to soak their body feathers. While keeping them cool, the main purpose of this behaviour is to carry water back to the chick who is not yet able to fly or leave the nest. The birds were very careful to submerge just enough to soak their feathers but never too much so that they couldn't lift off again.

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