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  • Writer's pictureJenny Lynn Keller

Pardon Our Dust

The other week I passed a construction site with a banner across the entrance saying, “Pardon Our Dust, Improvement a Must.” But all I’ve seen lately is yellow pollen—on my car, porch, shoes, eyeglasses, in my mouth, up my nose. The one exception occurred at the far end of my yard near the woods. A mini-cloud of dust appeared out of nowhere, and multiple gobble-gobbles told me the source.

Did you know dust bathing is common bird behavior? I didn’t until I moved to the boonies and saw wild turkeys crouching near the ground, flapping their wings, and flipping dust all over their bodies. Like we use soap and water, many birds use dust to keep their feathers in fluffy condition and free of parasites. Their dust baths vary in length from a few seconds to thirty minutes or longer, and they may select a favorite spot for daily use, creating a bowl-like dip in the ground. So pardon their dust, bathing is a must.

Benjamin Franklin described the wild turkey as an honorable bird. What’s your favorite bird?


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