Markus Varesvuo - Preening

 

Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)

The importance of preening cannot be overstated. Grooming the feathers, and spreading an oily substance from a gland at the base of the tail, helps to re-align the feathers, remove parasites and lice, and keep the bird looking its best. Preening is an everyday task; many birds preen several times a day. A healty coat is the best insurance a bird has against life’s hazards; well-kept feathers keep it warm and dry, not to mention airborne.

Sometimes they have to be quite acrobatic to treat each feather. A Long-tailed Duck has to strech a good bit to preen those long tail feathers.

Not all birds have a preen gland; some produce powder down, but that’s another story.


Location: BÃ¥tsfjord, Norway

Tags: arctic duck, bird photography, birds, markus varesvuo, preening, sea bird, wildlife photography


We’d love you to comment on our photographs. If you can, please do so in English. And as we are here under our own names, we’d appreciate if you would do the same when commenting.

* optional
Your email address will not be published.

Comments

  1. fpga said:

    14/06/2016 23:40

    Beautiful bird in action

  2. Jens said:

    16/06/2016 21:03

    I love this photo. Very nice. Greetings from Germany, Jens