How to Preen Your Bird - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. Hi, I am Rick Horvitz with Golden Cockatoo and I am going to tell you what those straws are, sticking out of your birds head. What they are is feathers that are growing out that that bird cannot preen because the bird is not in a flock. Preening is what the bird does in order to open up the new feathers. When they are in their flock, each bird preens each other. The head, all over the body, the enjoy it. It is a really nice experience for the birds. They bond. They play. They preen. If you have one bird, they cannot preen the top of its head right here and, you probably cannot see it from that distance but, there is little feathers that come up on top of the head here and the bird, as you can see, it kinda likes it and I am taking my thumb and my forefinger and I am rolling on the feathers and I break it apart and it almost turns in to dandruff. There is a piece right there that flicked off. So, it is really important to preen the bird and to get the feathers to grow and come out and it is usually, it is not a very difficult thing to do. You just have to get used to it. You have to have trust with the bird and there will be certain feathers that are not ready to be preened yet. They still have a little bit of blood on the bottom of them and the bird will make a noise and maybe, snap around and try to bite you a little bit, but you will learn how to properly preen your own bird and learn what your bird's tolerance is to how low you can go on the feathers and you will learn when the feather is ready to be preened. When you see that piece of straw coming out, it is time to preen your bird.