Asian Glossy Starlings preening after a drizzle

posted in: Feathers-maintenance, Videography | 0

It was late evening and the rain had turned into a light drizzle. A few Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) were perching along the back of the Ceram Palm (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) fronds soaking in the raindrops. Soon the drizzle dried up and the starlings began to get rid of excess water on their plumage before preening.

This was achieved by fluffing their feathers as they vigorously twisted and turned their bodies. Tail feathers were fanned from side to side and wings flapped as the feathers were preened.

Preening helped remove foreign matters stuck on to the feathers, especially ectoparasites. At the same time the bill smoothened the barbs so that they could lock properly together.

The feet managed the feathers around the head, as the bill had no access to them. Thus there were constant head scratching (top).

YC Wee
Singapore
December 2015

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