Why Do Birds Preen Themselves?


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Mehreen Misbah Profile
Mehreen Misbah answered
The main reason why birds preen is to clean themselves. Moreover another reason for preening is to waterproof their feathers – this is done to maintain a stable level of health and sustain neatness and smoothness in the course of their lives.

The inception of the preening or grooming session begins when the baby birds' feathers are breaking out of their sheaths. The personal grooming of the nestlings is inclusive of spending a lot of time combing their newly-grown feathers with the help of their beaks and getting rid of all the sheaths and blemishes. Even the nestlings grow into adult birds, they continue to preen themselves, using the preen glands or oil glands for this purpose. These oil glands are located on the back of the bird's body, right in front of the tail. Nibbling at the very glands, the birds rub their heads against them, smearing the secretion all over their feathers. There are three uses of this oily secretion. Firstly it waterproofs the plumage, also it maintains its supple quality and lastly sustains the insulating aura that surrounds the plumage.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Birds preen to maintain their feathers, to keep themselves warm and dry, to remove parasites, and to strengthen relationships.

Read more at Suite101: Why Do Birds Preen?: Preening With Beaks and Claws is Important for Feathers and Skin

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