On a recent rainy day, I saw a Pink-necked Green-pigeon (Treron vernans) perching on a semi-exposed tree branch, as if it was soaking in the rain drops. An image of the male green-pigeon showed its colourful breast feathers wet, disarranged and matted.
Immediately a number of questions come to mind…
1. Why did it not shrug off the drops of water from its feathers?
2. Why are the feathers not water proof? After all, birds regularly apply preen oil on the feathers.
3. Some pigeons have specialised feathers that disintegrate into powder down that serves the same purpose as preen oil. If green-pigeons have such feathers, why were they not put into use?
Any comments from readers appreciated.
19th January 2018