Back in July of this year, I captured an image of an American Robin sunbathing in my backyard and wanted to share it now. In the same month, I also photographed a Blue Jay soaking up the rays, which I wrote about in a previous post “A Blue Jay Soaking Up the Rays”.
I was working at my desk a couple of days ago when I glanced out the window and saw a Robin sunbathing near the bird bath I have set up. Several other Robins were already splashing around in the birdbath, and this one looked like it was waiting its turn while soaking up some sun. I really wished I could have gotten a photo, but I was afraid I would scare them off as soon as I stepped out onto the deck. It was cool just watching them through the window.
While the scorching Arkansas heat has been rough on both birds and people, the Robin was making the best of it. Sunbathing allows birds to heat parts of their bodies that don’t normally get much sun exposure when they’re hopping around on the ground. The warmth also prompts preening, which lets birds pick off dead lice loosened by the sun. In addition to pest control, sunning helps regulate body temperature and stimulate vitamin D production.
Whatever evolutionary reasons drive them, it’s delightful to observe birds fully engaged in sunbathing. This Robin looked so tranquil, relaxing in the yard. Sunbathing reminds us to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures, like letting the sun soak into your skin on a lazy afternoon. We busy humans should take a page from the bird book and set aside more time to soak up some rays.
I may not have captured the Robin on camera, but witnessing its sunbathing session was a special moment. The bird bath attracts colorful visitors to my yard, and it’s always entertaining to watch them interact with each other and their environment. Sunbathing Robins are just one small joy among the wonders of nature I get to experience right in my own backyard.
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer
- Camera: Canon EOS R7
- Lens: Canon RF 800 mm F11
- Location:Lavaca, Arkansas
- Date and Time Taken: July 22, 2023 (11:14 A. M.)
- Exposure Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f11
- Shutter speed: 1/1000
- ISO: 1000 (Auto)
- Exp. Comp.: +0.3
- Focal Length: 800 mm