Simon Walker's picture

Great Tit, flaked out, Paxton Pits, 2011-04-06 001

Observed: 6th April 2011 By: Simon WalkerSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in Birds
Great Tit, flaked out, Paxton Pits, 2011-04-06 001
Description:

This great tit was laid on gravel in a hedgerow. It seemed alert, and indeed as I got closer it got up and flew away. I have no idea what it was doing. It was a hot, sunny day - do they sunbathe?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Fenwickfield's picture

Have seen

I have seen birds having dust baths and a blackbird with it's wings outstretched in the sun for what seemed a long time,so maybe they do sunbath

Fenwickfield

corylus's picture

cooling off

Only seen blackbirds do this sometimes with their beaks open .Yours made a good photo.

Hazel Trevan

dw5448's picture

sun and hygiene

I think these behaviours help restore feathers to good condition and maybe reduce the load of mites etc

leenestofvipers's picture

great tit

I have seen one doing this on an ant nest before presumably as a form of parasite control.

pcollingridge's picture

Ants Nest

Yes, common on our sandy soils.

Simon Walker's picture

This is all very interesting...

The bird was lying on gravel, with no sign of ants or other creatures; I checked very carefully. THe bird's lying on its front, with its wings and feathers spread. That would seem to indicate it's trying to give access to its skin. Maybe it's trying to lose heat - today was one of the warmest days this year. Or maybe, as suggested, it's trying to give access to parasites in order to be rid of them. As I said, though, I couldn't see anything that might be chewing up parasites...