I was up early one morning recently and saw our resident grey thrush rolling around on an ant's nest.... really enjoying himself like he was having a dust bath. Curious, I wondered whatever he was up to, until I Googled it and discovered this:
... 'There are microbes everywhere that threaten our health and cause diseases. These microbes are a danger to other living creatures as well as human beings. Therefore these creatures, too, need to protect themselves just as we do. When living creatures are observed, we see that they use some methods to protect themselves against microbes. For instance, ants produce a kind of acidic substance that incapacitates microbes. They apply this acidic substance to their bodies and to the walls of their nest. In other words, they know that not only they themselves but also the nest they live in should be purified of microbes. Microbes disturb birds too, but birds do not have a system in their bodies to produce protective substances as ants do. Consequently birds have found a different but equally practical solution to this problem. They go to and lie upon an ant's nest, and wait for the ants to wander through their feathers. Ants that search for food stroll among the bird's feathers and the substance that kills the microbes is smeared on the bird's feathers as they do so. Thus, the bird is purified of microbes.'
How do you like that? love Google, and all the people who put interesting info for us to read and learn.