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Ruffled Feathers
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By Gary DeNeal
Gary DeNeal is the editor and publisher since 1985 of Springhouse, a bi-monthly magazine focusing on the history and lore of southeastern Illinois.
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By Gary DeNeal
April 12, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Ruffling someone’s feathers, so to speak, can be cause for alarm, but if one happens to be a turkey vulture and one chooses to ruffle one’s own feathers, that’s just fine.
Why do these birds do it? Ornithologists may tell us it has to do with drying out the feathers, or aligning them just right prior to perching for several minutes, or, more down to earth, just to give the lice a good shaking.
Being anything but an ornithologist—fancy word for a birdwatcher with credentials—I have at best a best guess, which is that feather ruffling on the turkey vulture’s part is done for the sake of feather ruffling.
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