WPY 2018

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2018

Urban Wildlife

Tom Kennedy, Ireland

Smoke Bath

Tom saw the rook as he glanced out of his living room window. Wings spread, the bird was using the neighbour’s chimney pot to smoke bathe. Realising the opportunity – and knowing the heat and smoke would only allow the rook to remain for a few minutes – he quickly took his photograph before leaving it to enjoy its smoky bath.

Rooks are incredibly intelligent creatures and smoke bathing is likely to be a learned behaviour, rather than instinct. The smoke helps the birds to fumigate their feathers, ridding them of irritating parasites such as lice, mites and ticks. The related jackdaw has even been seen fumigating itself over smouldering cigarette ends.

Technical specification

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 + 108mm lens; 1/400 sec at f4; ISO 100

Youghal, County Cork, Ireland: latitude 51.95, longitude -7.84 Youghal, County Cork, Ireland: latitude 51.95, longitude -7.84

Youghal, County Cork, Ireland

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Tom Kennedy

Tom Kennedy, Ireland

Tom is using the freedom of his retirement to indulge his interests in wildlife and photography.