Date: 1/13/21 4:04 pm
From: Janet Hinshaw <jhinshaw...>
Subject: Re: [birders] Hawk poop
The best bird poop story I have happened at a quarry. We saw a
black-crowned night heron take off, and it was being chased by several
redwings, which were below and behind him. He let loose with a long string
of poop, which sailed down and wrapped around a redwing's neck. The redwing
went tumbling down to the ground! We laughed so hard!

Janet Hinshaw


On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 5:03 PM Eve Wilson <evew...>
wrote:

> My birdbath would attest to that inclination!
>
> Eve
>
> Ann Arbor
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Janet Hinshaw <jhinshaw...>
> *Sent:* Wednesday, January 13, 2021 1:54:22 PM
> *To:* George Hammond
> *Cc:* BIRDERS@UMICH
> *Subject:* Re: [birders] Hawk poop
>
> I think birds dropping fecal sacs and also pooping into water is pretty
> common. I’m not sure why, seems like it would be more sanitary to drop it
> on the ground somewhere away from the nest. The captive finches we had at
> the museum would usually poop in their water bowls, so I think they were
> doing it on purpose.
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Jan 13, 2021, at 1:10 PM, 'George Hammond' via Birders <
> <birders...> wrote:
>
> Grackles often nest near water and are widely reported to deliberately
> drop fecal sacks into water, even into small puddles and birdbaths. Might
> be a particularly effective way to hide them from nest predators. Could be
> worse, some birds eat the fecal sacs of their nestlings.
>
> https://www.audubon.org/news/what-are-fecal-sacs-bird-diapers-basically
>
>
> https://wildlife-damage-management.extension.org/i-have-seen-blackbirds-bring-droppings-in-their-beaks-and-deposit-them-in-my-birdbath-they-are-coming-from-the-pine-trees-across-the-street-it-only-takes-half-a-day-before-the-birdbath-becomes-full/
>
>
> George
>
> On Jan 12, 2021, at 8:31 PM, Penny <dorfdoom...> wrote:
>
> I used to have a pool which was surrounded by Arbor Vitae where
> grackles love to nest. Every year they would fly over it and drop the
> fecal sacks in the pool. Quite inconvenient but I suppose it was better
> than loose stools.
> Penny.
>
>
> On Jan 12, 2021, at 8:03 PM, Allen Chartier <amazilia3...> wrote:
>
> 
> 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?
>
>
> 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!
>>>
>>
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