Written by Bob Sundstrom
That is BirdNote.
[Bird sound ambient – Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, etc.]
Birds spend numerous time conserving their feathers in prime situation. This could embody bathing [sound of splashing] or maybe sunning. However the primary technique of feather care is preening.
When preening, a fowl first grips a feather in its beak close to the feather’s base. Then it sliiiiides its beak alongside the size of the feather towards the tip. This motion smoothes collectively the tiny buildings—referred to as barbules—that make up the feather, whereas additionally eradicating dust and small parasites.
If a fowl’s feathers get too dried out, they turn into brittle. To forestall that from occurring, most birds have a gland situated above the bottom of the tail that produces oil. Birds use their beaks to therapeutic massage oil from the gland into their feathers to maintain them supple.
However how does a fowl preen feathers in hard-to-reach locations, like the top and neck? Utilizing its beak, a fowl can dab oil on its toes, then comb its head feathers with its toes. Or a fowl may wipe its head straight on the preen gland—or uropygial gland, because it’s referred to as.
Some fowl pairs preen one another’s head and neck, though this can be much less about hygiene and extra about conserving the bond between them sturdy and sure.
For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
Producer: John Kessler
Govt Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Affiliate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Ambient offered by Gordon Hempton: Nature Sound Necessities, Deciduous Forest Nation Morning.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and performed by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2020 BirdNote Might 2020/2022 Narrator: Mary McCann
ID# feather-05-2020-05-21 feather-05
Predominant reference: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology Handbook of Bird Biology, third ed., 2016.
Good preening pictures at: https://www.featheredphotography.com/weblog/2018/02/08/preening-rough-leg…
on perform of preening: https://www.sciencedirect.com/subjects/agricultural-and-biological-scienc…
uropygial is pronounced yur-uh-PIJ-ee-ul https://www.dictionary.com/browse/uropygial
barbule is pronounced BAHR-byool https://www.dictionary.com/browse/barbule