Passerine Bath Day

Just a quick . . . er . . . semi-quick post about the communal bathing habits of House Sparrows. It all started in September, when House sparrows became regular visitors to the birdfeeders. They usually come in small flocks of about ten or so, but occasionally more.

They got into the habit of doing vigorous bathing, usually with multiple birds in the birdbath at the same time. Wait, let me back up a bit . . .

We have four birdbaths; one in the front that’s deep enough to serve larger birds, but also with a gradual slope that finches use for shallow bathing. I’ve posted photos before of Robins and finches sharing that birdbath.

We have one birdbath on the side, and that’s deeper than small birds like, with steep sides. We put a flat rock at the bottom of it, and finches like to use that birdbath. In the patio, we have two birdbaths; another deep one with steep sides that larger birds use and the one you see in these photos, which is fairly shallow and many smaller birds use (but also Robins).

I’ve shared photos of Robins, Graybirds, and Cardinals using the birdbaths, but these sparrows are the birds most fun to watch.

Mostly because they really go at it.

There are 33 photos in this series, but I won’t share them all here (although there’s a slideshow at the end of the post). Interested readers can see the entire series in THIS SmugMug Gallery.

As much as they are fun to see in photos . . .

They are as much fun in videos.

All of these are relatively short, and I would advise watching them at the highest resolution (click on the spoked wheel for the settings).

I should also mention a few things about these videos. All were shot hand-held except one . . . but, I processed all the videos using DaVinci Resolve 18, and it does a great job at stabilizing the frames. All but the last of the videos were shot with the D7500 though a window.

DaVinci Resolve is free, but it’s a professional quality video editor, and I spent most of the day learning the basics. Things like trimming, adding/replacing audio tracks, running the stabilizer, adding titles and effects, and outputting various formats.

It has a bit of a learning curve and a busy interface, but if you want a capable program to process your videos (and you want it for free), I highly recommend it. I should add that it’s only free for personal and non-commercial use.

Anyway, here are the rest of the videos . . .

This next video was shot on the same day as the previous video, but using the P900, also through a window, but I must have lined up with a flaw in the glass because the right side of the frame has some distortion. Too bad that. I also didn’t have it at the best settings for video. DaVinci has tools I could have used to improve the tint and contrast, but that’s a lesson for another day.

I have lots of videos I could share, especially from when I travel, but up to now it’s been a hassle working with them, and I’ve resisted buying a proper video editing tool. I use the old Windows Editor, which Microsoft discontinued, and it’s pretty good for a lot of things. It even has a stabilizing function, but nowhere near this good.

I plan to play with DaVinci and master more of its capabilities, so you might see more frequent sharing of videos in future posts.

Anyway, here’s the Gallery of the photos (the videos are also in the SmugMug Gallery) . . .

Slideshow of the Passerine Bath Day SmugMug Gallery — 33 photos and five videos

Oh, one other thing . . . after they finish bathing, I typically have to go out and clean and refill the birdbath because they leave it like this . . .

Note 20 Ultra Photo

. . . usually two, and sometimes three times a day. They must take dirt baths just before visiting the birdbath because they leave the water — what little is left once they’re done splashing in it — pretty grody.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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