Tuesday 30 July 2013

Basking blackbird

This bird is really into getting the rays.
We see him taking every opportunity to relax
but today is the first time I have been able to catch him
on camera, taking a brief siesta on next door's shed roof.

First he swivels round to catch the sun on his back,
then he slumps down and spreads first his tail 
and then his wings.
He fluffs up his feathers,
his eyes glaze over and if he is really zoned out
his beak gapes.

He will stay in this position for long enough to look
very vulnerable to attack,
but I am told that they are still on full alert and 
their acute hearing will warn them of danger.
The purpose of this behaviour is to help to spread
the preen oil throughout the feathers
and to drive the parasites out from the plumage,
but it is possible that they also just enjoy
the warmth of the sun.

The sun was rather elusive today
but I hear there will be a brief return
 to high temperatures later in the week.
It might be the last chance to top up the Vitamin D.


  1. Our garden robin was doing exactly that this weekend. I was worried it was hurt until I saw it puff itself up and hop away in a very sprightly way.

  2. That's one seriously contented bird!

  3. Makes me quite jealous!

  4. Well who doesn't like a jaunt in the sunshine from time to time! :-)