Birds were only very occasionally seen to actually swim underwater as a prelude to the bathing routine. After attending to the head, the bird would rise and with a quick flap of its wings, reassume a sitting position on the water, then with wings extended in a cupped or half cock position to the side, beat them repeatedly against the surface of the water, holding the wings at an angle that would ensure that wing tips are driven vertically down into the water. The wings are then drawn into the body and used to move or scoop more water up and over the back with semi folded wings used to work the water into the back feathers.

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