Anting

A strange behavior engaged in by birds. From wikipedia:

Anting is a maintenance behavior during which birds rub insects, usually ants, on their feathers and skin. The bird may pick up the insects in its bill and rub them on the body (active anting), or the bird may lie in an area of high density of the insects and perform dust bathing-like movements (passive anting).

     Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 27, 2024
     Category: Animals | Insects and Spiders





Comments
The annoyed ants shoot their enemy-repelling stuff and the bird's parasites skedaddle.
Posted by Dr. Fian on 01/27/24 at 10:14 AM
Do the ants not bite them?

I am specifically thinking about fire ants.
Posted by Judy on 01/27/24 at 02:25 PM
Don't quote me, but I think fire ants biting a bird is how you get a Phoenix.
Posted by Phideaux on 01/27/24 at 02:51 PM
Weirdest part of the Wikipedia article: "Similar to anting may be the observed habit some birds show of picking up cigarette butts, sometimes lit, and rubbing themselves with them."
Posted by ges on 01/27/24 at 06:09 PM
@ges: nicotine kills parasites. Corvids understand nothing of biochemistry, but they're clever enough to observe the effects. Similarly for formic acid.

If you want truly weird: dolphins toke on puffer fish. This really does not have anything to do with hygiene or fighting parasite, they actually look like they get high on them. (On second thought: intelligent creatures... not that weird after all!)
Posted by Richard Bos on 01/28/24 at 08:49 AM
I'd guess the birds that try a still burning cigarette butt learn a new lesson.
Posted by Virtual on 01/28/24 at 05:10 PM









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