Preened to perfection

Yesterday, Mr. Woody flew down to my backyard, so I got a better shot of him. He has the most gorgeous feathers. I especially love his bib, but he has a face that only a mother could love.


So many of these water birds have bright white feathers, and as they fish around in muddy ponds,Β  I couldn’t help but wonder how they keep them so clean. The Great Egret has about 18,000 feathers, and each one is kept meticulously clean. I think he must spend more time on his ablutions than even I do on mine, and hubby would tell you that’s not very possible.


The two White Ibis who were foraging in the newly mowed grass yesterday, also had ‘Omo White’ feathers. To look this perfect, every day they must remove dust, dirt and parasites from their feathers and then align each feather in the optimum position relative to adjacent feathers and body shape. What a wonder they are! I often wish I had feathers rather than hair. I could never hope to look this good, but the beak might look a bit out of place though, and I’m thinking that with such long beaks, birds can’t really kiss, so I guess I’ll just be content with what I have.


Happy Thursday everyone.


74 comments on “Preened to perfection

  1. Words got out there’s an ongoing modelling assigmnent πŸ˜‰ … so what’s a bird to do but to groom fluff preen and sashay along the grass catwalk …..
    Super pictures Sylvia . Happy weekend !

  2. This was a VERY good one, Sylvia! Made me laugh so hard, and reflect on similar musings I have when I see all these perfectly white birds. And you’re right about the face of the wood stork πŸ˜€

  3. Beautiful birds, Sylvia! πŸ˜€ They just love preening themselves. I have a small group who fly in when I’m watering the plants and they hog the hose to get their free daily “bath and feather fluff” πŸ˜€

  4. 18000…..that is really some work to do. You are lucky to watch them so closely and being able to get such wonderful shots. They are very beautiful birds! Have a great weekend!

  5. Our Ibis could do with a lesson in hygiene from yours. Ours have black legs and beaks and their wings have black tips. Their white feathers are usually not pristine either. They can be rather annoying because in some places they’ve become scavengers like seagulls and try to steal people’s food. I like yours much better.

      • I’m not surprised. It’s the same in Brisbane. They are a real pest around the Southbank precinct in the city. There is a waterbird habitat where I live and they have taken over to the point where there are no other birds. I think a cull happened a couple of years ago but it doesn’t seem to have made a difference. The balance of nature is a bit out when one species takes over like that.

  6. It really is amazing how these beautiful white birds keep so pristine and glowing! It’s hard to believe the Great Egret has 18,000 feathers! But I guess, if we’re lucky, we have at least that many hairs on our heads, or more! πŸ™‚

  7. We spend time in the SoCal desert and enjoy these beautiful egrets that frequent the water hazard outside our kitchen window. They always inspire me and you will find them frequenting my poetry. Beautiful photography.

  8. It takes work to look this good…hence the constant preening, and it shows πŸ™‚ Beautiful all of them…and I do the same with my cats, in wonder that they keep themselves so clean. Lovely photos Sylvia, and I too love Mr Wood Stork’s bib πŸ˜€ xx

  9. beautiful pictures, Sylvia! πŸ™‚ these birds are immaculately clean! daily self-grooming/preening is just their nature! its truly a wonder! that’s a lot of feather to clean for The Great Egret! πŸ™‚

  10. Wow! 18,000 feathers sure are a lot! Clearly he doesn’t blog Sylvia, otherwise he wouldn’t have had any time to keep himself clean. LOL!

    The two white Ibis are so adorable. Such long beaks, just like the Hadidas we have here. It’s fun watching them dig those long beaks into the grass looking for crickets and bugs.

    I wonder if we will be able to keep our feather hair so clean like these birds do? We will have to grow long beaks as well then. hahahaha!

    Great shots of these beauties there where you live and thanks for sharing. πŸ˜€

  11. Don’t always get to comment on your posts Sylvia, but I do enjoy your bird shots even if they only fly by in my reader. I am equally puzzled how our little Snowy stays so immaculately white, especially in a dusty environment. I get dirtier than he does! So I’m not really surprised with their Omo feathers. And, lovely photos as ever πŸ™‚

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