What Do Nesting Birds Do with All That Poop?

What Do Nesting Birds Do with All That Poop?

Alisa Opar
Published: 06/29/2011

Image: 10,000 Birds

 
Fair warning: This post is entirely about poop. If you’re a regular reader of Audubon magazine, our interest in the topic might not surprise you. After all, we’ve covered how South Asians are trying to save their elephants by turning elephant poo into paper; eagle owls selectively defecate on dark rocks and other prominent structures near the nests to mark their territory; and, to find new Emperor penguin breeding colonies, scientists scoured satellite images to look for the enormous reddish-brown excrement stains the birds leave on the ice.
 
So we were tickled to discover that the folks over at the fabulous blog 10,000 Birds dedicated an entire week to poop. Their stated collective goal was to “examine every area in which excrement impacts avifauna and their observation.” And did they ever succeed. Below are links to the varied and fascinating Poop Week posts.
 
What Do Nesting Birds Do With All That Poop?
And aren’t you glad you don’t have to do this for your kids?
 
The Poo Ponds
What unsavory sorts will you find hanging around your local sewage plant? How about birders?
 
How Do You Spell “Shitepoke?”
Which groovy-necked bird suffers from such a colorful but unfortunate moniker?
 
The Scoop on Poop, or, Why I Post Photos of Defecating Birds
Which illustrious American pelagic trip leader has a penchant for photographing pooping birds and why?
 
Poop Week Quiz
How did our resident quizmaster come up with such a devious puzzle and what does Q87.2 have to do with it?
 
Does a Birder Poop in the Woods?
…and if nobody is there to smell it, does it have a stink? Ever want to share your worst birding/nature and pooping-related story?
 
Enlightenment through bird poop
Do you know how the sublime glory of bird poop can transform your life?
 
What is Bird Poop?
What’s up with that car-crusting stuff anyway and what does a cloaca have to do with it?
 
Days of Guano
When will Survivor force contestants to band seabirds on the Farallones Islands? Would anyone survive?
 
Poop From The Front End Of The Bird
How does something cool related to owls suddenly become a little bit disgusting or maybe even cooler?
 
Birding the Great German Poo Trail
Why are German sewage plants less interesting for birding than Australian ones and where does the outhouse in the Greifswalder Oie fit in?
 
Kitty City Poo
Is the furthest inland Kittiwake colony in the world compatible with the aspiration for an outstanding urban waterfront? What do you think?
 
My Loo List
Why do the fates conspire to shower blessings upon us when we are least prepared to enjoy them? What’s more important… toilet paper or a camera?
 
Birding Cyprus’ Sewage Pools
Why would you be better off visiting Cyprus’ sewage pools than sampling its local cuisine?
 
POOP WARS
Ever wonder why the United States passed the Guano Islands Act in 1856?
 
Whitewash the truth
Why, amidst an Arctic expanse of snow and ice, would you want to look for even more white stuff?