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

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  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