Bathing can be accomplished in many ways depending on the type of bird. Some birds, such as swallows and flycatchers, will dip into the water in flight while other birds, like woodpeckers, will take baths in light rain. Many Birds, like this yellow warbler, will wade into the water, ruffle their feathers to expose the skin beneath, and rapidly beat their wings in and out of the water. While doing this they will role their breast back and forth in the water and then dip their head under. When they bring their head back up water that is caught between the back of the head and wings splashes the feathers on the back.
After the bath is complete the bird needs to get its feathers back in order. First it will dry itself by moving back and forth and forcing out any water from underneath its feathers. Since bathing often removes some of the oils that protect the feathers from the weather and help to keep them soft it is important for the bird to preen to replace the oils. It will rub its beak against the uropygial, or preening gland, which is located under the tail. It will then stroke each feather with the beak coating it with the necessary amount of oil and putting it back into place.