Too often I have discarded bird photos because the subject suddenly turned away, closed its eyes, or started picking at its plumage. Yet, some of my more interesting images have been those of birds preening and ruffling their feathers.
Of course this is a vitally important behavior, as it cleans and restores integrity to feathers which have been soiled or disrupted.
Individual feather barbs which arise from the feather shaft are attached to one another by tiny barbules and hooks (nature's "Velcro"). These become separated and must be carefully straightened, realigned and joined together to permit flight and protection from temperature extremes, wind and precipitation.
Herons take on such interesting shapes. The absence of hands makes them contort their necks into some unusual postures.
Great Blue Heron:
Immature Little Blue Heron:
Turkey Vulture with two heads (actually a companion is looking over its shoulder as it preens):
Bald Eagle stretching and preening:
Perfect viewpoint early in the morning:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue
Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh
Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display