Bali Starlings are often found in West Bali, known as a very dry area of Bali. The pair who live freely at Begawan Foundation’s Breeding and Release Centre obviously appreciate that in their surrounding area there is plenty of water that provides for daily bathing.

It is essential that they keep their feathers in good condition, thus bathing is an important part of feather maintenance. Dampening the feathers loosens the dirt and makes their feathers easier to preen. Parents introduce their offspring to the benefits of water very soon after fledging.

However, it seems that we have a pair of birds who just dip into the water for sheer enjoyment. A local swimming pool provides an edge from which they can dip and even submerge themselves in the water. The male is far more adventurous than the female, but both will visit the pool several times a day.

Studies suggest that birds are aware of the importance of having freshly preened feathers that give them better agility when flying, and are able to let their guard down when they know that they can escape a predator faster and more adeptly. This video, taken back in April, shows two wild Bali Starling chicks that are about to fledge from the nestbox, peering from the entrance, with the parents outside on guard. One chick had already fledged by then we see it flying around the box. A great image!

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