Javan Myna preening individual body feathers

on 24th September 2018

We have been posting feather maintenance in the past, specifically preening, scratching, fluffing, etc. of different species of birds – see HERE, HERE and HERE.

In the present post we are seeing a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) spending about 10 minutes after a bath in a neighbour’s garden fountain to preen mainly individual body feathers. These are the smaller plumes and semi-plumes rather than long flight and tail feathers.

Preening of feathers (video grab).

Preening here involves the myna grasping individual feathers near its base, then moves its mandibles along its shaft towards the tip. In doing this stale preen oil and dirt are removed. At the same time the barbs of the feathers are smoothened so that they lock together (see video below).

The breast and back feathers are easily accessible to the bill for preening. Not so feathers around the neck and head. Such feathers are taken care of by scratching. At regular intervals the myna uses either of its foot to vigorously to scratch its head.

Fluffing of feathers (video grab).

Also seen were fluffing the body feathers and shaking the wings.

YC Wee
20th June 2018

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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