Traveling the world over, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, award-winning photographer Brutus Östling managed to capture some magnificent photos of birds in their natural settings.
Östling's photos, along with text by nature writer Magnus Ullman, made the book Between the Wingtips, the Secret Life of Birds not only a beautiful read, but a very informative one as well.
For instance, did you know that hygiene is very important to birds?
Parasites are an acute problem for birds, and all kinds of lice, mites, and other insects thrive inthe warmth of their plumage. Many of these pests spend their entire lives on the host bird. But the vermin must be controlled, and so bathing, preening, and scratching take up a large part of the daily life of birds. That parasites constitute a real threat is demonstrated when a bird sustains a serious injury or is in any other way reduced to a weakened state. The first thing that usually happens in such a situation is that lice and mites colonize the defenseless bird, often causing its death.
No King Eider female will accept a male, regardless of how bright his face is and how seductive his coloring, if he is not well groomed.
Above is a snapshot of the "seductively" colored King Eider, taken by Östling in Norway.