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Aerial Bathing of Ravens

Edmund C. Jaeger
3 (May-June)
From Field and Study
Online Text:

Aerial Bathing of Ravens.--On August 2, 1962, while travelling on a road through the farming district along the Mohave River in California, I observed a pair of Ravens (Corvus coral) dashing down into and through water shot high from revolving nozzles of an overhead irrigating system for an alfalfa field. The birds repeatedly dashed in and out of water columns with interludes of soaring. Each time they precipitously descended into the spray they shook their feathers, the better to let the water get next to the skin; then, when they emerged they again shook their feathers to get rid of excess water which might interfere with skillful flying. I purposely went to the same area several days later when another nearby field was being similarly irrigated and found two birds, probably the same pair, engaging in the same antics. On October 4, when the weather was much cooler, Stan Stenner and I saw near Old Woman’s Springs a similar performance over an irrigated field, evidently by another pair of birds, since the latter place is some 35 miles from the site of the original observatiOn.-EDMUND C. JAEGER, Riverside Municipal Museum, Riverside, California, October 12, 1962. 

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