Why do birds call when preening?

“I’ve seen quite a few birds preen and call at the same time, and managed to catch a Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) doing this in the video below.

“I don’t know why birds multi-task this way, maybe it’s for the joy of it, like singing in the shower?

Lena Chow
24th May 2012

Any idea anyone?

2 Responses

  1. Amar-Singh HSS (Dato Dr)

    I agree with Lena about “the joy of singing” but in addition I believe it is also a call to keep in audio contact with partner, who may be doing something else (some distance away). Very common behavior & well documented here.


    Yes totally agree with Dato Amar’s observation that those calls are usually audio contact calls keeping their partner in check.

    There is a regular pair of same species that visit whenever my ‘powder puff’ tree blooms with their attractive red flowers and the branches are tall enough to overhang my upstairs balcony. The chirping and preening usually comes from the male and the female is never too far away. My washline is a favourite perch for the male and has got accustomed to the place,allowing me to sit on my balcony chair and observed him close -up.


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