Dirt Baths

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May 7, 2022, 12:10:30 PMMay 7
I couldn't get a picture of it but there were a couple of mourning doves
underneath a large gardenia bush at the back corner of my neighbors
house. They were taking dirt-baths. Digging in the sandy soil and
tossing it onto their wings and tails.

I understand why birds do this. It's to smother the tiny parasites
(mites) that get under their feathers which feed off them and make them
feel very itchy. It wasn't the dirt bath that was unusual. I had never
witnessed a dove splay out tail feathers like you'd spread the fingers
of your hand (if your hand was feathered) and then stir it around in the
sandy soil. I tried to take a pic but I wasn't fast enough.

Jill in Southern South Carolina
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