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Curious Bird Habits: Rubbing Their Beaks On Things

Animals exhibit some of the oddest and sometimes cutest mannerisms. My dog likes to wipe her snout with her paws while she's lying down. I don't know why she does it, I can only surmise its for hygienic purposes or trying to get dust off it. It just happens from time to time and I find it very cute. But I digress.

Birds, it turns out, have a certain tic of their own. They rub their beaks on trees, fence posts, railings, and other things they perch on. Why? Here's a bit of a gist of the theory on this behavior called bill-wiping:

Although they haven’t arrived at a definite, universal explanation, we can summarize their reports on the role of bill-wiping this way: It definitely acts like a napkin, probably as a file, and maybe even as a cologne spritzer.

(Image credit: Clive Hollin/Unsplash)


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