Date: 1/12/21 5:03 pm
From: Allen Chartier <amazilia3...>
Subject: Re: [birders] Hawk poop
Stevie,

Great photo! Yes, that is what is going on...the parent waxwing is removing
a fecal sac directly from the nestling's cloaca. The fecal sac is often
white, but waxwings feed their young a lot of fruit so can be a different
color.

To address the comment about this possibly being related to the process of
females laying eggs, I'm pretty sure that nestling male birds can
projectile-poop as well as females, so I suspect there is a different
process here. It is my guess that egg laying is something more like
peristalsis that occurs in our own intestines to move food along through
our digestive system, while the poop-shooting needs more force. Maybe our
"enslaved by ducks" guy near Grand Rapids has some insight? Or maybe Janet
Hinshaw has something better than my suppositions?

Allen T. Chartier
Inkster, Michigan
Email: <amazilia3...>
Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mihummingbirdguy/collections/
Website/Blog: http://mihummingbirdguy.blogspot.com/



On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 7:21 PM Stevie <Stevie19...> wrote:

> I think that this might be what Allen was talking about parent and baby's
> fecal sac maybe...
>
>
> On 1/12/2021 8:10 AM, Allen Chartier wrote:
>
> April,
>
> I don't know about the anatomy and musculature, but many birds have the
> ability of projectile pooping. It has been described as an adaptation for
> getting their feces well away from the nest, not only for nest sanitation
> but also to protect from predators tracking the nest location.
>
> Baby birds cannot do this when they hatch, so parent birds take their
> fecal sacs (another unusual adaptation) well away from the nest. As they
> get older, baby birds develop the ability to shoot poop over the edge of
> the nest so I imagine it is muscle development.
>
> On Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 7:53 AM April Campbell <adc14...> wrote:
>
>> So, I was observing my local female Coop perched on my newly erected
>> screech owl box, when she lifted her tail and emitted a propulsive stream
>> of poo ten feet across the yard! My question is this: are their special
>> muscles in the cloaca that contract to allow such a power poo? What
>> evolutionary purpose might exist for having a fire extinguisher for an
>> anus? I checked a couple of anatomy books, but there no discussion on this
>> topic I guess I should be glad she didn’t dribble all over the box!
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
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