Birds have up to 25,000 feathers, and regular preening keeps each feather in top condition. Second only to feeding, preening is a common bird behaviour easily observed.
So, why do they preen? Here are some reasons:
- Aligning feathers for optimum waterproofing and insulation
- Aligning feathers into the most aerodynamic shape for easier, more efficient flight;
- Removing feather parasites and body lice that can destroy feathers or carry disease
- Removing tough sheaths from newly molted feathers; creating a healthier appearance to