This month, put your ID knowledge to the test with six birds caught in mid-bathe
How well do you know your bathing birds? See if you can identify the six here
Birds have feathers. In fact, they are covered in them! And what an innovation these ‘modified scales’ are, providing a lightweight covering that insulates and decorates as well as allowing flight. But, of course, all these feathers need regular maintenance. Birds preen their feathers regularly, but they also need to bathe. The very process of bathing requires that birds twist themselves into unusual shapes; and can lead to some identification headaches, especially in very brief views or in still photographs (in the field, you can usually see more of the bird than photos capture). But here we have photos of birds caught midbathe to test your ID skills on; birds masked with water spray and in ‘strange’ poses. Name the birds in these six photographs, then turn the page for our answers, and, as usual, turn the page for further ID tips on bathing birds and more...