lpearce's picture


Observed: 30th June 2010 By: lpearcelpearce’s reputation in Birdslpearce’s reputation in Birdslpearce’s reputation in Birdslpearce’s reputation in Birds

This blackbird was sitting in a car park on the warm grit in this odd pose, at first we thought it was injured.
Watching it we realised it was sun bathing with its wings spread to maximise the area facing the warm July sun.
I have not seen this behaviour before is it common?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) interacts


anonymous spotter's picture

Yes - it is common

Or at least as common as is possible given the dearth of sunny days in parts of the UK!
They can strike the oddest poses, too, in trying to obtain maximum sunlight. They also seem to doze off in these poses, too, and you can approach quite closely if you are careful.
As others pointed out in a forum topic, they seem to do it to "condition" the feathers.
Some birds also go in for "anting" - allowing ants to swarm over them, presumably deterring lice with formic acid.

lpearce's picture

Thanks Roger

You are right, this one seemed to have dosed off, which was I guess why we were able to approach it quite close and why it did not seemed to be concerned about the cars entering and leaving.

Les Pearce
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Wildlife of Assynt