On more than one occasion I have watched birds stand perfectly motionless on one leg in the water. Enquiring minds want to know why.
If you believe what you read on the internet, there seem to be two primary reasons. One is to prevent heat loss which is greater in the water than air. The second is to assist hunting birds – one leg in the water appears more like a reed or stick to unsuspecting prey.
Thankfully I’m not gullible enough to get sucked into believing those improbable theories! A much more likely reason is peer pressure. The neighbor’s kid starts standing on one foot and pretty soon all the kids run home and tell their parents that everyone is doing it. After a few unplanned baths, all the cool kids are standing on one foot in the water. The fact that it looks ridiculous and will likely cause arthritis in the future doesn’t seem to deter the birds. If there was a logical reason for doing it, that would be entirely different.