Saturday, May 25, 2013

Magnolia Warbler

Approaching the water’s edge carefully, this female Magnolia Warbler was ready for her morning bath.  

She didn’t plunge right in though;  first she considered the risks.

Once in the water she has only one escape route…up.  There could be a cat...could be a bird of prey...somewhere.  

Unsure of her surroundings she entered the water carefully.  

She arrived at the shallow creek in Lake Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, expecting to be alone. I’m sure she didn’t see me crouching behind the bridge post, three feet tall and getting a leg cramp.

Certainly, she would have flown had she discovered me watching her.

Settling down slowly, she tested the waters. I imagine all birds take a bath in cool water, as she seemed comfortable with the temperature.

Opening her breast feathers, she soaked up the water, shook, twisted and splashed, while I fired pictures as fast as my camera allowed.

Luckily, her splashing muffled my camera noise.  

She had no opportunity to linger, though…bathing is dangerous.

A wet bird can’t fly well.

Understanding her vulnerabilities, she popped up repeatedly.

Satisfied with her surroundings and still thinking she was bathing privately, she went about joyfully splashing…prepared for her day...fresh and clean.

She flew away to dry-off, never knowing I was there.