I have had a water dish at the feeders this year and I've seen birds take a little drink and even step into the dish from time-to-time. There has never been the activity that I thought there would be, but I have seen the birds splash in puddles around here - so that's ok.
However, we had a few hot days in the first week of July, and to my delight, this little mother sparrow....well, see for yourself!
She was drenched! I love the second photo - you can see her outstretched leg as she tries to get completely under the water. Not one other bird - gold finch, house finch, pine siskin, or nuthatch bathed, even in that hot weather, like she did. I thought maybe the cool water felt good on the back of her neck.
It was so much fun to watch her and she came several times a day when the temperatures were in the 80's. I made sure that there was always fresh cool water and a couple of times, I would just get it filled when she would fly across the driveway and plunge in again!
More photos from the next day:
I don't know how she could fly with all that water in her feathers!
Just a little post note:
A couple of weeks ago I looked out and was happy to see another mother song sparrow with a fledgling at the feeders. BOTH of them headed for the water and splashed around! And, still, notably, other birds are not attracted to it as they are. Interesting....
(Next time: Activity at the nest...)
(Photos taken 07-07-2010 & 07-08-2010, Canon Rebel Xsi, 250mm lens - thru the window pane)