Bird moves

Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
1,452
Location
South Carolina
Watched a bluejay fly down on some mulch,spread its wings and rub it's chest into the mulch. I asked our resident naturalist what the bluejay was doing. He thought it might be trying to rub off some mites. Anyone ever see this happen?
He stayed in this position for over a minute. Keeping it's head in an upright position.

bluebird-38-X2.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


This cardinal was getting ready to take off.

cardinal-24-X2.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Thanks for looking

ED
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
10,008
Location
Aberdeen, WA USA
I've seen many birds do that in dirt, etc...

I believe (but could be wrong) that they do that to sort give themselves a
dusting... The dust (I believe) chokes parasites like mites and they suffocate
and die...

Anyways, sounds good (don't it...? :tongue: )

Nice shots...! :cool:
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
1,020
I have seen cardinals do that on my big flat bird feeder. They sometimes stay flat for several minutes.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
947
Great shots. This bird behavior is called "anting", where a bird allows ants to go through their feathers in order to take advantage of formic acid released by the ants. How the bird benefits isn't well understood, maybe the acid kills parasites or makes them easier to digest, or other chemicals released by ants helps in preening. There are some strange theories about anting that are rated X.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
1,020
There are no ants on my bird feeder. I have seen birds pick up ants and use them while preening their feathers. There is no dirt/dust or ants in the blue jay photo. I think that we are seeing another bird behavor but I do not have an understanding of what it is. Now to do a google search about X. {Birds do Dallas}
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2007
Messages
724
Location
Centreville, VA
The only time I have seen any birds or squirrels do anything like this is when Mr Hawk is in a tree near by. Most of the birds take off but a few are stuck and get real low to the ground.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
947
There are no ants on my bird feeder. I have seen birds pick up ants and use them while preening their feathers. There is no dirt/dust or ants in the blue jay photo. I think that we are seeing another bird behavor but I do not have an understanding of what it is. Now to do a google search about X. {Birds do Dallas}

This behavior is called "passive anting" and while ants may not be visible (or even present), birds use this behavior as a method to rid itself of parasites. Here is a link to a good overview about it.
http://www.wos.org/vol11recordsofantingbybirdsinwaandor.pdf
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Administrator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
24,765
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
Really wonderful blue jay image! Love the detail and natural behavior...even if we humans don't understand it! LOL!

That cardinal is very nice, also!
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
1,452
Location
South Carolina
Fantastic shots. What lens was that?

Thanks for the nice comment. I shot with a d300 with a 300mm f/4 and a 1.4tc at iso 640 I believe. They were both manually focused.I was using that method to photograph the birds in sometimes thick tree cover. I found by having my hand forward helps me get shots even at 100 of a second sharp sometimes.I also find the focus to be spot on when done correctly, versus auto focus.

Here is another sample from that days shooting.
untitled-46-X2.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Thanks for Looking.

Ed
 

Latest threads

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom