GREY HERONS – PANTING and PREENING

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“On a scorching Saturday afternoon of 15th March 2014, I was monitoring a small colony of Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) at a river mouth in Singapore (above).

“As the sun was bearing down on them, I wondered how they were coping with the oppressive heat. Despite the occasional sea breeze, a number of herons were observed to be actively panting (gular fluttering) with their beaks parted (above).

“A caring and panting parent heron even faced its back to the sun to provide welcome shade for its two young chicks within the nest (above).

“Video clips of the Grey Heron panting may be previewed below:

“Feather maintenance within the colony was also observed, as preening activity was carried out by adults (above), as well as juveniles (below).

“The end of a preening session is often accompanied by stretching of the wings (below).

“Video clips of the Grey Heron preening may be previewed below:

Dr Leong Tzi Ming
Singapore
March 2014

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