Singita Pamushana

Pamushana | March 2011

SPLASHING IN THE BATH

At home there may be a rubber duck in the bath but here we have a comb duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos) taking a bath! It’s an essential activity to keep feathers clean, flexible, pliable and in tip-top condition. The female comb duck with the grey speckled head swam alongside the
white-faced duck (Dendrocygna viduata), then raised the front of her body slightly out of the water and began frenzied wing flapping – splashing water all over her plumage, and that of the white-faced duck!

Bathing can be a distracting behaviour and it’s possible that the comb duck was purposefully staying close to the white-faced duck so that she could be alerted to any approaching danger.