A) Anting is a well-known phenomenon among birds and has been studied extensively. However, despite the fact that many people have watched and reported anting behaviour, we still don’t know exactly why birds do it.

Reasons put forward include the possibility that the formic acid produced by many ants helps to remove stale preening oil from the bird’s feathers, or acts as a form of insecticide.

Another suggestion is that the birds simply enjoy the feeling of ants in their feathers.