Dust-bathingForcing fine, dry material (such as dust or fine soil) into the plumage by squatting on the ground and making appropriate movements with the body, wings and legs. Like anting and smoke bathing, dusting presumably discourages ectoparasite infestation. It is characteristic of birds living in arid types of habitat, such as larks (family Alaudidae), but is also well known, for example, in the House Sparrow Passer domesticus.
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From Peter Weaver's Birdwatcher's Dictionary
Copyright © 1981 by Peter Weaver