Friday, November 11, 2011
Catching Some Rays
I think it is pretty obvious what this bird is doing: sunbathing. Birds sunbathe for various reasons. In cooler climates, it can be to warm up. In hot climates, it is thought that sunning supports feather health, distributes Vitamin D (from the oil from the preen gland, located at the base of the tail) and even dislodges feather parasites. Sunning can involve various body postures from fluffed up feathers, spread wings and tails with the bird angling its body for maximum sun exposure.
In the case of this Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura), on our hill here in Gallon Jug, I think it was enjoying catching some rays and drying off after a rainy night.