If you can't beat them...

By Jerra

Male Blackbird ( Turdus merula )

Today we were meeting Kanyl at Larch Cottage Nurseries.  We left home putting an umbrella in the car, by the time we reached the nurseries it was bright sunshine.  As you might expect many shots of flowers were taken, the Rhododendrons and Azaleas were particularly impressive.

Contrary to what some may think the Blackbird is neither distressed or injured.   It is simply sunbathing!  The commonest birds to be seen doing this are Blackbirds and Robins.  It is believed the reason for the sunbathing is feather care.   The warmth drives parasites out of the feathers and helps the preen oil spread across the feathers.  It isn't easy to see in this shot but the fluffing up of the feathers has exposed the preen gland.

Despite the flower shots and this not being the best of shots getting a shot of a sunbathing "Blackie" had to override them.

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