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Preening for TN Ladies

Preening for TN Ladies
Photo Information
Copyright: Robin Du Bois (robindb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 127 W: 0 N: 378] (1420)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-31
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 7D, Sigma 170-500mm APO
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-09-05 11:19
Viewed: 4045
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
With my previous posting of a bird preening I received the comment that there are few images on TN of birds preening so I have posted another one which I want to dedicate to all the ladies of TN, if I may, who also spend time "preening" for their loved ones.
This image was taken about 25 km east of Satara camp in the Kruger National Park

Even the most fastidious persons don't spend as much time keeping themselves looking good as do birds, A good share of birds' waking hours are spent in preening. More than just good looks are at stake when it comes to feather care.
Feathers serve birds well, but they must be meticulously inspected, cleaned, lubricated and arranged at least once daily-and sometimes many times in a day. The task may take hours of work as average birds have more than 2000 feathers.
Nature's gift of flight demanded light weights, high power, and an aero-dynamically designed silhouette. Feathers are closely involved in all three.
First and most importantly, feathers must provide the insulation needed to maintain a hot body. To serve that purpose all feathers are cleaned of dust and dirt, and the down feathers are fluffed and untangled.
In the ritual of preening all the feathers are lubricated. Some birds use the oil from the preening gland near the base of the tail and others use the extremely fine powder down.
In either case feathers must be protected from wear. With only one set of feathers a year, and being in continuous use, if they become ragged and thin, they will lose their ability to carry out their functions. Birds seem to know that good feathering depends upon constant feather care, and so preen continually.
Preening is also a time for birds to check that each feather properly lies in its special location. To present an aerodynamically smooth surface each feather must fit the contour of the body.

At the same time the barbules coming off the main shaft are zippered together so that the vanes become a strong, wide, flat surface.

Argus, techranger, Dis. Ac., Evelynn, JoseMiguel, Janice, SelenE has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-09-05 11:27]

Hello Robin,
When I try to take a portrait of a bird and it is preening itself I find it annoying as the head disappears at the wrong time!
Here this Yellow-billed Stork shows not only its face, but the wings in a beautiful display, which makes it a nice dedication to the ladies on TN when taken from this excellent POV!
TFS this beauty,
Have a good weekend,

Ha... I know my son spends quite a bit of time preening for the ladies... and also taking 20-30 minute showers. But then again he works out a lot too, so maybe that's needed.

Nice capture and POV. TFS. Also informative notes.


Hello Robin,

what an beautiful pose of this bird.
Good shot and with beatiful colours.

You caught a great pose on this big bird Robin. It is a nice frame filling shot. The exposure and details are quite good.

Evelynn : )


That's a very cool capture and a very informative note. Feather care can really be compared to a pre-flight inspection on any aircraft. Of course, no aircraft is as beautiful as a bird and its feathers but that's another story :) It just serves the point that a lot of care must be taken on bird's behalf to keep it in flying shape. Your picture shows just that and shows it well. Thanks for sharing.

Best Regards,


Hello Robin,
An unusual pose to better appreciate the feathers and preening of the bird.
You've got fine and sharp details on the plumage and colourful head.
A very nice dedication too.
Good work and thanks for share.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-09-06 0:53]

I have thought of some comments I could write, but I think I'll just say that he's a show-off.

And what a lovely display he is putting on. I love how his head is twisted around like this. And how his legs are hidden by his skirt of feathers.

Good one Robin

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-09-06 8:33]

Hi Robin,
Thanks for the dedication :o) I like the pose you captured. Very nice POV and good details on the plumage. TFS
All the best,

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-02-15 4:58]

Hi Robin,
a nice capture in its excellent pose. Lovely with spreading wings in great composition. the colours is well seen in good lighting.


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