One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(on a bird) a gland at the base of the tail that produces the oil used in preening.
- ‘Our results provide the first rigorous evidence that the preen gland is important for plumage condition in birds other than waterfowl.’
- ‘Preening behaviors in birds-including bathing in water or dust and coating feathers with oils from preen glands are commonly thought to improve feather condition.’
- ‘This gap made it difficult for the bird to seal and waterproof that area with the oils from his preen gland.’
- ‘However, perhaps the plumage of birds with preen glands is more resilient to abrasion from preening.’
- ‘More work is needed on the function and distribution of preen glands in Rock Doves and across other species of birds.’
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