The Birdbath

I keep a container of water in the back yard for the birds, and it gets used quite a bit. Some come just to drink, and other come to also bathe. I have also seen iguanas and possums enjoying the chance for a drink.

One of the most frequent visitors is this clay colored thrush. I think it’s the same bird but of course I can’t tell for sure. It always comes alone though and bathes with great enthusiasm, often multiple times a day.

Often it splashes and flaps, and then goes up to the tree to continue flapping. A short time later it will return and repeat the process.

Sometimes, however, it will just stand in the water for minutes at a time.


This is not a glamorous or colorful bird, but it feels like an old friend after so many visits.

A very small baby iguana also visited the other day


You don’t need to leave your backyard to be entertained by all the wildlife that visits every day. Life is good in Panama!


About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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21 Responses to The Birdbath

  1. We now have a Hummingbird that has decided our tropical garden is “His” territory, guards it well, chasing off anyone else that intrudes.


    • They are so territorial! We had a feeder but had to take it down because of the noisy conflicts that started at sunup. I laugh remembering Karen’s posts about Miss Bossy Pants, the hummingbird in her yard.


  2. Anonymous says:

    I absolutely love your little bird friend ~ they are the best and watching this one in the water must be a ‘highlight’ when he comes to visit. The older I get the more I appreciate these feathered friends. I wish we could tell them apart. In this case my bet is on this guy / girl being the ‘one’ and only. I continue to enjoy your posts Kris and please know how much your words and pics are appreciated and that they add some sunshine to my day! Carey


    • I do enjoy the visits. If I could get close I could give it a decoration so I’d know for sure if it’s the same one. These birds are quite common in the area though so who knows.
      I’m so glad you enjoy the blog. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comment 🙂


  3. Nice Kris! Great photographs of your bathing bird (and I love the water bowl – it looks so refreshing). One happy bird!
    There’s almost nothing that calms me down quite as much as standing by the kitchen window, and watching the birds ((so many kinds) ‘take their baths’ in the numerous water bowls I’ve placed around the back yard – and almost nothing that induces such severe pangs of guilt and stress as when I haven’t filled up the baths with fresh water and I see a bird come down, sit on the edge of a bowl, look forlornly at the emptiness, and then fly away. (In this weather it takes great fortitude to brave the mosquitos out there – I went out at the crack of dawn this morning and still got attacked).


    • It’s just something from the dollar store but it seems to work out. You’ll love it here. I have heard there are more kinds of birds in Panama than in the whole of North America.
      I wonder if the mosquitoes would be better in the middle of the day? When I had bees occasionally I would lead with the water hose. I wonder if that works for mosquitoes? Dang things, bet you won’t miss them!


      • Dollar store or not, it’s a nice birdbath – mine are all plastic plant pot saucers of various sizes, but either too shallow or too deep.
        These horrid mosquitos seem to be active all the time, including middle of the day. Oh yes I wouldn’t miss them ! (Leading with the water hose doesn’t help).
        Panama is sounding more and more inviting…


        • I was looking for something like a baking dish but this was all I found for cheap and it seems to work fine. Too bad about the mosquitoes! That’s miserable that you can’t enjoy the outdoors at all. Maybe your town needs to start importing bats, but people would probably freak out at the thought.


          • We have bats. I like bats. Not enough bats?


            • More bats! I can’t remember where you live, but habitat is in short supply for them in some urban environments. It never hurts to have more bats 😀


              • I live in the middle of the state of North Carolina- the Piedmont area as it’s known. I’ve noticed the bat population has diminished somewhat of late though. We now also have those (to me) horrible bright LED street lights – they turn night into day. I’m sure they can’t be good.


                • I think bats use sonar, not light so maybe that doesn’t bother them. Even better if the lights attract bugs. Bet you can’t see many stars though.


                  • Yes of course bats use sonar – not light. My thoughts have to do with bats being active in the night time, not daylight. Wondered whether the fake daylight might throw them off kilter. Just personal musings, no research. I haven’t noticed extra bugs around those LED street lights either, or bats flying under them.
                    Also yes, futile looking for stars.


  4. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    You can imagine what it is like for the birds up here now that we are hitting 100 temps in the middle of the day in Fort Worth. We go through 40 lbs of sunflower seed every month but it is the water bowls and bird baths that really attract the birds and squirrels and lizards.
    The bluejays are the most violent bathers, we have to refill their bowls several times a day. Then there are the cardinals, thrushes, finches, wrens, sparrows, even an occasional bunting. We try to feed the hummers but some years we get them, other years not. Dunno why.
    Once at Nena’s sister’s house outside Panama City, I was spraying water on the steel roof to cool the house in the afternoon and the water was running off into the banana plants below the eaves. A bird appeared and landed on the leaf, slide off the leaf in the water. It flew right back and repeated the same trick several more times while I stood less than 3 feet away. I called Nena over and we watched for a few more minutes until I guess it got tired and left. You just never know what you will see the wildlife doing down there! Nature always surprises.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow yes, I’ll bet the birds and critters are very thankful for the water in that intense heat!
      Now that you mention it, I remember seeing a hummer flapping and bathing in a bit of water that collected on a banana leaf here. I haven’t seen anyone using a banana leaf as a water slide though!


  5. Sunni Morris says:


    We have a birdbath too and a couple of water pans. Here in the desert they can become completely dry in two days. The critters love it. I imagine water is hard to find. We have snakes and quail and all kinds of birds visiting the water, even roadrunners and birds of prey. It’s so much fun to see the birds splashing around to cool off. Then they’ll fly to a tree and preen their feathers.

    Lizards drink too but we don’t have the bright green ones here. All of ours are some sort of brown or rust color. It makes me happy to give these creatures water.


    • There is a lot of water here in the rainy season but we still get a lot of visitors. In the dry season I’m sure it’s even more important to them. Snakes though? Never seen one of them here though it could have happened. The iguanas are only bright green when they are babies and it sure hides them well in some of the plants.


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