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In the range of the lower back budgies have a so called
uropygial gland or preening gland. This gland supplies the oily
substance the birds need for protecting their plumage against
dust and water. While preening, budgies apply this substance to every
feather nearly each day.
In order to be able to survive in their natural habitat, budgies and most other birds need a water rejecting plumage. During preening, they nibble on their uropygial gland, get some oil into their beaks and then put it on the feathers with the help of their tongues. The photo above shows a budgie collecting some oil from the gland.
Budgies are unable to reach the back of the head with their beaks. For putting oil on the feathers at this part of their body, they rub it over their uropygial gland. This typical behavior can be seen in the photo on the right. In order to put some oil on their vent feathers, budgies first put the secretion from their gland on one foot and then apply it to the vent plumage.
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