Friday, 22 August 2014

22nd August: Skylark dustbath

While out and about on the Reserve, staff spotted a skylark taking a dust bath on the path ahead. The bird left behind an imprint in the dust:

You may have spotted sparrows doing this in your garden or at the side of the road: birds do this in order to maintain their feathers and plumage. The dust absorbs excess oil from feathers and can also keep parasites at bay. Birds might do this more frequently in hot months when water to bathe in is less abundant - Lindisfarne's healthy skylark and house sparrow population have plenty of sandy paths to choose from to 'bathe' in.

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