Forest Park. Queens. Female Cardinal bathing.
Birds have a price to pay for having feathers - and flying. Their plumage is like a dead mattress (it's technically dead skin) and attracts all sorts of feather-degrading parasites, and bacteria, in addition to everyday wear and tear. In an attempt to clean themselves, birds resort to frequent bathing, dusting and sunning and preening, where oil from their preen glands is believed to help. They also molt yearly.

Images by Valerie Druguet





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