Dust bathing (also called sand bathing) is an animal behavior characterized by the act of grooming while rolling or moving around in dust or sand, with the purpose of cleaning fur, feathers or skin, and removing parasites. Dust bathing is a maintenance behavior performed by a wide range of mammalian and avian species. For some animals, dust baths are necessary to clean the feathers, skin, or fur, similar to bathing in water or wallowing in mud. In some mammals, dust bathing may be a way of transmitting to the ground which marks an individual’s territory.
Image: Ranger JJ van Wyk