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2008-12-15-Green-Cay

An adult male Blue-winged Teal preening in a mid afternoon sun.

Feather care is extremely important to a bird's survival, and preening is the act of cleaning and rearranging the feathers. All birds preen frequently.

What I don't know is what motivates them to preen.

For example, do their feathers start to itch at the base and make them want to scratch the itch? Or does it just feel good when they arrange their feathers? Or??

2008 by Peter Schulz