AHH, the joy of life.
This magpie pictured at the back of the Fairfax Media building on Delancey Street, Cleveland, looks like it is dead but, rather, it’s bang in the middle of some avian self-pampering.
Far from being harmed in anyway, it is enjoying a delicious magpie make-over, the highlight of which is a dust bath.
It lies wings spread, letting the warm sun sink into its ruffled feathers.
It is thought birds do this to clean feathers, much the way some species will use water.
Dust bathing helps with feather maintenance, controls parasites and allows the bird to groom itself and likely get rid of excess oil in its feathers.
It’s thought dust bathing might also have some sort of soothing effect on the skin which is perhaps why this bird seems to be almost prostrate with joy.
Dust bathing is not restricted to birds, with animals as large as elephants enjoying the process.
The Australian Museum says magpies are found across most of Australia, although colouring varies from place to place.
Magpies live in groups - sometimes of 20 to 30 birds - in territories they defend. The group depends on this territory for feeding, roosting and nesting.
During breeding from August to November, the males can be especially aggressive as they seek to defend nests with hatchlings.
They prefer places where there is a combination of trees and nearby open areas.
When you see a maggie on the ground, it usually means it is feeding on insects and larvae.
They have a beautiful call and do not mind singing in concert.
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