Eagle Preening Its Feathers

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I don’t think I’ve ever gotten an opportunity to photograph a Bald Eagle preening before…..

Until now.

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Bald Eagle preening its feathers

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Like most birds, Bald Eagles have a uropygial gland, or preen gland, that is essential to their preening.

This gland is found near the base of their tail and produces an oily, waxy substance that helps waterproof feathers and keep them flexible.

While preening, Eagles spread this oil on each of their feathers so they are evenly coated and protected.

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Bald Eagle preening its feathers

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Bald Eagles have approximately 7,000 feathers to keep clean.

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DSC_9141-1 111121

Bald Eagle preening its feathers

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(These were taken at Eastern Neck NWR, Rock Hall, Maryland, on November 11, 2021)

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30 thoughts on “Eagle Preening Its Feathers

  1. I’ve seen just about every bird preening but not sure about a bald eagle. They all manage those ‘contortion-like’ poses, don’t they. Great capture!

  2. I didn’t know about a “preen gland” either. It’s amazing it can spread oil on feathers with that beak. I struggle just to get lotion on my back. 😳

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