The Kid Should See This

A preening stork-billed kingfisher

In order to fly at peak performance, birds must carefully maintain their feathers. This means removing dirt, excess oil, and parasites. Birds do this by running their bill from the base of a feather to the tip, a process known as preening. In addition to removing debris, preening also realigns feathers, improving their aerodynamic performance.

See this preening behavior demonstrated by a blue, gray, yellow, and orange stork-billed kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis). It’s found “in the tropical Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, from India to Indonesia.” Naturalist Carl Linnaeus was the first to formally describe it in 1766.

See this bird vocalizing in the rain, a video by Amar-Singh HSS, and in what looks like late-afternoon light, filmed by Buhaimi Jahilan:

Next: Carl Linnaeus’ Systema Naturae and Herbarium Cabinet and more bird videos from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Plus: More videos about feathers including Dinosaurs Among Us.

This feature is being tested. Saves will disappear if you clear cookies. Find saved videos here.

🌈 Related videos

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology‘s Birds of Paradise project

Rion Nakaya

How do cliff swallows build their mud pellet nests?

Rion Nakaya

You’d Never Guess What an Acorn Woodpecker Eats – Deep Look

Rion Nakaya

How it Evolved: the Red-capped Manakin

Rion Nakaya

Museum of Obsolete Objects: The Quill, The Cassette Tape, and more

Rion Nakaya

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bird Song Hero

Rion Nakaya

The bell-like call of the Three-Wattled Bell Bird

Rion Nakaya

Roboraptors and the Alarm Call Network

Rion Nakaya

A laughing contest for chickens

Rion Nakaya

Browse the TKSST Video Collections

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.