Second only to feeding, preening is a common bird behavior easily observed in a backyard or out in the field.
Little Egret making sure its flight feathers are in alignment.
Birds can have up to 25,000 feathers so regular grooming that may take up to several hours each day is very important to keep them in tip top condition for various reasons; efficient flight, waterproofing and insulation, removal of parasites and lice that may carry disease, removing tough sheaths from newly moulted feathers and improving their overall appearance to attract a mate.
Black-headed Gull in winter plumage.
Egyptian Goose reaching those difficult to access areas.
Even youngsters like this Juvenile Blue Tit have to learn this tricky and important art very quickly in order to survive.
And finally Mrs. Mallard.
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday.