Pitangus sulphuratus (Great Kiskadee / Bichofué gritón)
La Ceja, Colombia; 2.300 meters above sea level.
Like all animals, birds need water to survive. Though they can extract some moisture from their food, most birds drink water every day. Birds also use water for bathing, to clean their feathers and remove parasites. After splashing around in a bath for a few minutes, a bird usually perches in a sunny spot and fluffs its feathers out to dry. Then it carefully preens each feather, adding a protective coating of oil secreted by a gland at the base of its tail.
For these reasons, a dependable supply of fresh, clean water is attractive to most birds. In fact, a birdbath will even bring to your yard birds that don’t eat seeds and wouldn’t visit your feeders. Providing water for birds can also improve the quality of your backyard bird habitat and should provide you with a fantastic opportunity to observe bird behavior.