Dust bath (also sand bath) is the act of an animal grooming and most likely cleansing its skin or fur from parasites by rolling or moving around within dust or sand. Many animals like to roll in sand or dirt to keep the flies and insects away from them and also to help dry off after exercise or being wet. A sand roll, which is a stall or yard covered with deep sand, is traditionally included as part of stable complexes, for use by racehorses after exercise. Dust baths are a necessity for some animals and serve to clean the feathers, skin, or fur similar to the more common bathing in water, or wallowing in mud. Birds cower close to the ground while taking a dust bath and wiggle their bodies. This will disperse loose soil in the air. The birds spread one or both wings. The dust bath is often followed by thorough shaking to ruffle the feathers or preening.
October 1, 2012 by Leave a Comment