9 April 2022
New word for the day.
Feaking – The act of rubbing the beak against a surface for cleaning or maintaining beak shape, often done after eating.
The word feak originated in falconry in the early 16th century, derived from the German word fegen which means cleanse or sweep. Despite what auto-correct assumes, there is NO R in feak.
In this video, the female bald eagle is feaking on the edge of a nest platform in the rain.
And here’s a peregrine feaking after her meal.
Biologists have a word for just about everything. This behavior, where a bird rubs its beak on a rock or branch to clean it off is called “feaking”. pic.twitter.com/qt23XXakPW
— CalFalconCam (@CalFalconCam) March 11, 2022
Feaking isn’t confined to raptors. Learn the several reasons why birds do it at National Audubon’s article: Here’s Why Birds Rub Their Beaks on Stuff.
(photo from BC Coastal Dry Belt on Flickr; videos embedded from YouTube)