“While I was seeking solace at a local park, a Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis) broke the silence and abruptly announced its arrival by taking an audible plunge into the placid waters, then sweeping up onto a bare branch to bask in the glow of the morning sun (above).
“As there was no fish in its glossy red beak, I realised that the purpose of its divine dive was merely to moisten its feathers in preparation for preening. With its back towards me, I was able to witness how it repeatedly extracted preen oil from its preen gland (above, below).
“Scratching the base of its bill was also a part of its preening routine (below).
“Video footage of this kingfisher’s prolonged preening session may be previewed here:”
Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
6th May 2017