Why is bird poo white?

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Offline turnipsock

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Why is bird poo white?
« on: 26/11/2008 00:01:37 »
When birds poo on my head, it is often white, why is that?

The food they eat is rarely white.




Nice eh? Being delivered next Tuesday.
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When things are in 3D, is it always the same three dimensions?

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Offline RD

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Why is bird poo white?
« Reply #1 on: 26/11/2008 00:22:07 »
Quote
Guano consists of ammonia, along with uric, phosphoric, oxalic, and carbonic acids, as well as some earth salts and impurities.
Guano also has a high concentration of nitrates.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guano


The scatalogical photographer who recorded this image must have lightning-fast reflexes...  [:)]

[attachment=5382]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:DefecatingSeagull.jpg

« Last Edit: 26/11/2008 00:35:27 by RD »

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Offline JnA

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Why is bird poo white?
« Reply #2 on: 26/11/2008 01:36:32 »
the white part is the urine, if you look closely (and who doesn't?) you'll see some darker bits of faeces.
Birds use a cloaca for all evacuations .. which adds nothing to the thread .. I just like the word cloaca.

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blakestyger

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Why is bird poo white?
« Reply #3 on: 29/11/2008 12:05:08 »
Yes, these words are fascinating. Cloaca comes from the latin cluere, to cleanse.

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Offline RD

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Why is bird poo white?
« Reply #4 on: 29/11/2008 12:12:08 »
I thought cloaca was latin for sewer...

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[Latin cloaca, sewer, canal.]
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cloaca
« Last Edit: 29/11/2008 12:21:23 by RD »

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blakestyger

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Why is bird poo white?
« Reply #5 on: 29/11/2008 14:03:53 »
You are right, but there are two meanings. There's the late C16 usage which is a sewer or conduit for drainage and the C19 zoological term for 'common cavity for release of digestive and urogenital products in birds, reptiles, amphibinas etc.'

The root, cluere, is the same for both.
Source: New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 2vols.1993