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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bath Party

"Damnit, some lowlife took a bath and poisoned the waterhole".

That was my first disturbing thought when I saw the white scum on the water.

It didn't smell like Irish Spring, either. But what was it?

I was visited by ominous thoughts until I got home and uploaded the video files.

Then I saw the culprits.

My pool had been the scene of a wild bath party.

Happy New Year, my friends.


biobabbler said...

Super interesting. I would NEVER have guessed it. And it's also interesting how @ the end the scum seeks to cover the entire pool.

NIce work, as usual. Thanks for the edification.

Cindy said...

Feather dust is a new one on me. CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife is trying to track a protozoan disease that causes cheese-like lesions on the mouths and digestive systems of band-tails. If you see any on btp, they would like to know.


brdpics said...

Wow, that's amazing footage. Funny how the pond scum is the same color as the pigeons!! Thanks for posting!!

Trailblazer said...

Great stuff, Codger.

Happy New Year to you, as well!

Chas Clifton said...

At least you don't have to worry about unhygienic hermits.

Steve Bodio said...

Protozoan disease that causes cheesy lesions is doubtless Trichomonas gallinae or a close relative, which also affects and kill domestic pigeons (lethal but curable and most members of the family.

It can be chronic and low- level, which is a danger to less adapted species like their predators. When Cooper's hawks were becoming urban in Tucson, many were picked up dead or dying, unable to eat, infected with the disease from urban doves.

Birds of the pigeon family have a powder or "bloom" that causes scum on the water when they bathe, I believe produced by special down. Far from being "dirty" it is a sign of robust good health!

Owlman said...

Excellent video capture of Band-tailed Pigeons bathing Codger!
Did you collect any scum and check it under a microscope?
They obviously needed a bath!

John W. Wall said...

Chalk up another great nature lesson with camera-trapping.

Camera Trap Codger said...

Thanks folks. And very interesting to learn about the disease, and the contagion to accipiters, Cindy and Steve. But happy to know that the birds are clean and no reprobate was responsible for the dusty bath water.

owlman said...

Trichomonas was seen infrequently in the mouths of Barn Owls that were brought into the UC Davis
(California) Raptor Center.