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Grooming behaviour that is performed by birds for the maintenance of feathers. Preening cleans feathers, but also oils them with a substance secreted by a preen gland near the tail: the bird applies this substance with the tip of its bill. The oil renders the feathers supple and water-resistant, and ingested oil supplies the bird with some vitamin D.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences — Ecology and Conservation.

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