ARTISTS AND  BIRDS
by Marilyn and Keith Davis

Bathing Beauties

        Have you noticed kids laughing, yelling, squealing, running around having a great time at the Water Park by the St. George Tabernacle? Well I notice each time I go up and down Main Street. I think the water park is one of the best things the City officials have done for families and kids. And, I wish I was right there with them, getting wet! How fun it was on a hot summer’s day, when I was a kid in St. George, running barefoot through the water in the ditch, in front of my house.

bathing beauties        Have you noticed that birds are always looking for their own Water Park? Water can be the cheapest and most effective way to attract birds. So put a bird bath in your yard and you’ll have bathing beauties. Birds bathe for the same reason you and I do – to get clean. Birds need water to keep their amazing feathers in tip top shape. A bird without healthy feathers is a bird in big trouble. Different bird species have different styles of bathing. Most birds that bathe in water prefer to wade into water that is a few inches deep, like a bird bath, and then splash the water onto their bodies. When they are thoroughly soaked they fly to a branch near by and preen. After taking a water bath, House Sparrows and Wrens, will frequently bathe in dirt. This is called a Dusting. Dusting will improve the feather’s fluffiness and dislodge parasites. It also reduces excess water and oil. Keeping feathers functional requires constant care.

        Birds with big feet will wade in water until its deep enough to flick their wings in and throw the water onto their bodies. Birds with weak feet like the swifts and swallows who are excellent flyers, bathe ‘on the wing’ by dipping and flying at the same time. Flycatchers dive repeatedly from their perches into water. Others combine both wading and diving. It’s a matter of preference. After the bath, most birds then dry themselves using ritualized movements such as keeping the wings spread to dry, or vibrating their wings and tail. Another way for birds to get clean is from ‘Anting’. When there are lots of feather parasites, what better way to get rid of them than by Anting. Birds find an ant bed and let ants crawl all over them. If the ants won’t cooperate, birds will pick up ants in their beaks and rub the ant over their feathers, after which they eat the ant. It is believed the ant’s formic acid helps deter the feather mites and such.

        Anyone can have a Water Park in their yard . . . on a bird-size scale. Birds will love you for it. Bird baths should be surrounded by tree branches or tall plants so your visitors can preen themselves after bathing, and it’s good protection when sneaky predators are waiting for a bird relaxing and not paying attention. Marilyn Davis is the artist this week. For questions about birds or Red Cliffs Audubon monthly activities call 435 673-0996.


        If you wish to read more Artists & Birds articles, they are listed in the table below.


Past Articles


"Cold Days and Good Memories"  (White Pelican) 
"Where's Sherlock Holmes When You Need Him?" (YB Cuckoo)
"Tale of Four Birders"  (Western Scrub Jay)
"East Zion Continued" (Golden-crowned Kinglet),
  Vermilion Flycatcher
"Aerial Wolves" (Sharp-shinned Hawk)
"From Clown School to Pond" (Ruddy Duck)
"Shades of Red" Red-tailed Hawk
"Predatory Songbird" (Northern Shrike)
"The Cagey Killdeer"
"A True Bird Story" (Willet)
"A Song to Remember" (Hermit Thrush)
"To Catch a Fish..." (Green Heron aka Green-backed Heron)
"No Spring Cleaning" (Brown-headed Cowbird)
"Look-alikes Galore" (Sage Sparrow)
"A Jazzy Singer" (Cassin's Finch)
"Salute the Coot" (American Coot)
"Put a Smile on Your Face" (Greater Roadrunner)
"The Tale of Fred and Ethel" (Mallard)
"A Flutter of Sparrows" (Clay-colored Sparrow)
"A Sight to Remember" (Blue-gray Gnatcatcher)
"About Night Life" (Northern Saw-whet Owl)
"Black and White and Smart All Over" (BB Magpie)
"Dressed for Dinner... of Fine Wines and Bugs" (RN Sapsucker)
"A Life List" (Painted Redstart)
"Bird-Brained" (Flammulated Owl)
"Needle in a Haystack" (White-throated Sparrow)
"Booby Trap Nest" (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
"The Crowd Pleaser" (Western Tanager)
"Seeds and Civilization" (American Tree Sparrow)
"A Childhood Treasure" (Black-headed Grosbeak)
"Those Itchy Red Bumps" (Cliff Swallow)
"Is There a Bee in Your Bonnet" (Utah bees)
"Where's My Winter Coat" (Great-tailed Grackle)
"Ice Age Tree Planter" (Blue Jay)
"An Uncommon Beauty" (Black-and-white Warbler)
"What's In a Name" (American Redstart)
"When the Cold Winds Blow" (Western Grebe)
"A National Beauty" (Bald Eagle)

"Feathered Tiger" (Cooper's Hawk)
"The Accomplished Carpenter" (Acorn Woodpecker)
"Jewels" (Evening Grosbeak)
"Observations on the Road" (Rock Pigeon)
"A Leftover Memory" (California Gull)
"Lifelong Dreams" (Greater Roadrunner)
"Who's in Your Yard"  Wren)
"A Touch of Blue" (Mountain Bluebirds)
"Fur and Feathers" (Spotted Owl)
"Chick-a-dee-dee-dee" (Mountain Chickadee)
"In Search of" (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
"Wanderlust" (Canada Goose)
"Einstein Birds" (American Crow)
"What Spring Brings" (American Wigeon)
"Magnificent and Adaptable" (Golden Eagle)
"The Loneliest Sound" (Common Loon)
"When a Rare One Shows" (Thayer's Gull)
"Bird of the Ocean Shores" (Brown Pelican)
"A Mature Forest" (Northern Goshawk)
"When Black Eyes are Cool" (Short-eared Owl)
"Spring Is Busting Out All Over" (American Robin)
"Acrobatic Survivor" (Common Raven)
"Are You Ready For Hummers?" (Calliope HBird)
"Poppies, Rock Wren, and a Trip in Time" (Rock Wren)

"What’s On Tonaquint Pond?" (Baby Mallard Ducks)
"Definitely Not High-Uintah Parrots" (Pine Grosbeak)
"Before Radio, Records, and Hi-Fi" (N. Mockingbird)
"Bloomington Hills Drive Pond" (Birds of Southern Utah)
"Marks of Identification" (Northern Harrier)
"Nature’s Fighter Plane" (Common Nighthawk)
"King of the Western Skies" (California Condor)
"Are Bugs On Your Diet?" Ash-throated Flycatcher
"Warblers with Cavities" Lucy's Warbler
"Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner" Steller's Jay
"Life Bird List" Indigo Bunting
"Valley of Ghosts" Burned habitat
"One Raven is a Good Omen" Raven
"Way-Cool Bird" Cassin's Kingbird
"What a Song Will Do" Virginia Rail
"Surprise at Kolob"  Chestnut-backed Chickadee
"Hatches and Hatches" Mourning Dove babies
"Power Lines and Fence Posts" American Kestrel
"Pump-er-Lunk, Pump-er-Lunk" American Bittern
"What's a Chukar" Chukar
"A Jacket in The Morning" Oregon Junco
 "Silhouettes in the Sky" Turkey Vulture

"The Sound of Fall" White-crowned Sparrow
"Where Birds Hang Out" Ruby-crowned Kinglet
"Just Desserts" Canvasback Duck
"Reasons to Visit Zion" Wild Turkey

"Disappearing Act" Sage Sparrow
"A Favorite Bird of the UK" English Robin
"The Christmas Card Bird" Black-capped Chickadee
"Warm Slippers" Rough-legged Hawk

"Beautiful, But Strange" Northern Shoveler
"Live Christmas Tree Ornaments" Scrub Jay
"Red and Black and ..." Vermilion Flycatcher
"Bird Songs" Birds at the feeder

"Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!" Ovenbird
"Raptors and Bird Feeders"
"Who’s Who in Winter" Abert's Towhee
"The Original Centerfold Model" Eastern bluebird
"What This ‘Look-Alike’ Looks Like" Pine Siskin
"To Shine a Light on a Name" Cedar Waxwing
"Find a Ladder-backed WP" Ladder-backed WP
"The Price of Bird Seed" Lesser Goldfinch
"Our Juniper Trees" Townsend's Solitaire
"Bird Friendly Backyard" Lazuli Bunting

"What’s in a Lek?" Sage Grouse
"The Dueling Doves" M. Dove - Collared-Dove
"Frozen Dinners" Turkey Vulture
"Stop, Sit, Listen & Watch" Common Yellowthroat
"The Night Hunter" Black-crowned Night-Heron

"Window Peekers" Hummingbirds
"When Food’s Free" Bullock's Oriole

 "Here To Stay!" House Sparrow
"Wild Places" Black-throated Sparrow
"Weird Spring - Many Birds" Western Tanager
"A Little Bird Watching" baby bird watching
"Stripes, Streaks, Bills, Crowns, and Colors"  Lark Sparrow
"Hoping for Perfect"
Gray Catbird
"Home Sweet Home???" Horned Lark
"Ah, the Western Bluebird!"
"The 'Under Cover" Bird" Green-tailed Towhee

"A Shady Patio"Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk
"Quail Talk" Gambel's Quail

"Flight of Dragonflies"

  Ruffed Grouse/Rattlesnake
"Bird Feathers"

"Protective Coloration" Pigeons
"The Agile Scavenger" Common Raven

"Where Have All The Pheasants Gone?"
"Black is Beautiful!" Common Black Hawk

"A Best Friend" Barn owl

"The Ugly Duckling" Mute Swan

"What Birders Do" Magnificent Hummingbird

"The Magic of October" Double-crested Cormorant

"A Gibberish Conversation" Great-tailed Grackle

"Black Things - Flying" American Coot

"Flying Fortress White Pelican

"What is a CBC?" Golden-crowned Sparrow


"Is That a Wild Canary?" Yellow Warbler
"A Tale of a Great Blue Heron
" Great Blue Heron
"Better To Wait For Breakfast..." Merlin
"This Was The Place" Red-winged Blackbirds

"Just To Be Noticed" Pied-billed Grebe

"Crash Landing" Eared Grebe

"Where’s It Gonna Show Next?" Anna's Hummingbird
"Become a Junior Birder
"
"Seen Any UFOs???"
"Feathered Treasures"
"The Long Way Home" Northern Harrier

"Mr. Lonesome" Greater Roadrunner

"Four of a Kind" Black-crowned Night Heron
"Winter Colors" American Goldfinch

"Black Snow" European Starling

"Looking Way Good" Belted Kingfisher

"To Fill A Niche" Black-billed Magpie

"Worth Every Cent" Backyard Chickens
"Wet and Bedraggled Pigeon..." Cooper's Hawk
"Why Don't We?" Northern Cardinal
"Rarely, but Possible" Harris's Sparrow
"A Lucky Fluke" Yellow-headed Blackbird
"What Spring Will Bring" Willow Flycatcher
"To Venture Outdoors"  Sharp-shinned Hawk
"St. George at its Finest!" Canyon Wren
"A Suitable Nest" Vermilion Flycatcher
"Stuck in Dixie"  Tree Swallow
"Time to Visit Zion" Blue Grosbeak
"Call From the Wild" Bullock's Oriole nest
"Apple Valley Babies"Western Scrub Jays
"The Fading Song Act" Cactus Wren
"To Win the Ladies"
Northern Mockingbird
"Color is Significant to a Flicker" Northern Flicker
"King of Bunker Hill" Gambel's Quail
"The Dinner Table" Ferruginous Hawk

"A Water Tank" Mourning Dove
"Faraway Places
"
Black-throated Blue Warbler
"Faraway Places - Part 2" Franklin's Gull
"Brenda Rusnell - Artist
"
"Hit Or Miss" Sharp-shinned Hawk
"The Flashy Singer/Babysitter" Prothonotary Warbler

"A Sighting To Remember" Canada Warbler
"Super Size this Meal but Skip the French Fries" BG Heron

"The Last Days of Summer" Red-eyed Vireo

"More Than Just Spectators" Great-tailed Grackles

"A Song to Love" Western Meadowlark

"The Amazing Migrant" Bobolink

"A Thistle Sock" Lesser Goldfinch
"From a Bird’s Point of View" Chipping Sparrow

"At Just the Right Time" Cedar Waxwing

"A Chicken in Every Pot
" Chicken
"A Perfect Flight" Feathers

"An Atmosphere of Comfort
" Burrowing Owl
"Goose Girl" Domesticated Goose

"Looking For A Super Sleuth" Vermilion Flycatcher

"Birds and Bugs" Black Swift

"Why Not Make a Memory?" Spotted Towhee

"Curious About Birds?
" Bewick's Wren
"Ow-Wow, Ow-Wow, Ow-Wow" Hooded Merganser

"A Snipe Hunt"  Wilson's Snipe
"The Butcher Bird" Loggerhead Shrike
"Just Happens Event" Killdeer

"A Spring Show" Cattle Egret

"Are You Nuts" Double-breasted Nutcracker

"If You Build It, They Will Come" American Robin

"Passing Through Southern Utah" Black-necked Stilt

"Listen Inside and Outside" Say's Phoebe
"Frozen Dinners" Paper Wasps vs Woodpeckers

"Weather or Not" Golden Eagle

"Troubadours From Mexico" Great-tailed Grackle

"Sticks, Straw, and Bricks
"
"Front Door Nursery"
"Eggs And Ravens" Common Raven
"Field Trips are to Die For" Phainopepla

"A Successful Introduction" Wild Turkey

"Follow The Leader" Turkey Vulture

"When There’s Fire"

"A New Kind of Sport
"
"What to Do With Flying Pests
"
"Oak Grove and Hummers" Broad-tailed Hummingbirds
"Being Fed" Feeding baby birds
"Crash Day"Learning to Fly

"Thunderstorms and Scrambled Eggs"

"Hold the Mud . . ."  Blue Grosbeak
"A Feathery Mystery"
"Magnetic Yards"

"Rainbows and Gambel’s Quail"
"Not an Ordinary Bird" Phainopepla
"Sunflowers - Free Lunch" Lesser Goldfinch
"Passing Through" Townsend's Warbler
"How High Can You Count?" Blackbirds
"Belly Flops and Kingfishers" Belted Kingfisher
"Listen and Learn" Northern Mockingbird
"Food, Safety and Welcome" Red-winged Blackbird
"Whooo, Whooo, Whooo, Whoooo?" Long-eared Owl
"Have Breakfast with a Bird" Baltimore Oriole
"Tongue Lashing from a Bird" House Wren
"Food and Easy Takings" Mourning Dove

"When It's Snow Time in the Rockies" Snow Birds
"Clothes Make the Man . . But *" Indigo Bunting
"The Call of Roosters" Chickens
"Find The Vermilion Flycatcher"
"A Snowy Zion" Dark-eyed Junco
"A Day Well Spent" Bald Eagle
"Easy Pickings" Eurasian Collared-Dove
"The Christmas Bird" Northern Cardinal
"Feathers in the Air" American Kestrel
"Is the Festival Over?" California Gull
"A Song of the Outdoors" Hermit Thrush
"What's on Your Pond?" Bufflehead
"A Must See" Ring-necked Duck
"Bird with the Most Smarts" American Crow
"Free Symphonies This Spring" Young artists birds
"Own a Chunk of Gold" Sandhill Crane
"Feathers on the Ground" Peregrine Falcon
"A Bill for What?" Northern Shoveler
"He's Back" Say's Phoebe
"Opportunistic Feeders" Cattle Egret
"When Habitat Disappears" Long-billed Curlew
"Bug Spray or Flycatchers???" Vermilion Flycatcher
"Talk to a Bird" Yellow Warbler





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