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Re: Vulture warm up



Quoting Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au>:

Corvids will also lie spread-eagled over ants' nests and let the ants crawl all over them. It's
thought that either the ants actively remove parasites from the feathers, or they leave a liberal
coating of antiseptic secretion on the feathers, or perhaps a combination of both (so that both
parasites and micro-organisms are dealt with).

My dad and I once observed two Steller's Jays (Cyanocitta stelleri) lying motionless, spreadeagled on the ground in a part of our back yard where the dirt was exposed. At first we thought maybe they had succumbed to West Nile virus or something, but they hopped up good as new when we approached. I figured they were just dust-bathing, but now I suppose it's possible they could have been ant-bathing instead.


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Nicholas J. Pharris