Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why is bird poop white?” you ask? Funny thing is your investigative reporter has been ready to reply for years. Several years ago he purchased a book for a family friend on that and other disgusting science questions.
It even came complete with fake bird poop right on the cover! It looked very real and was very cool. (Well, cool in a “boy” way. Boys grow up to be men who enjoy sharing their flatulence with their buddies in a closed car during hot weather.) But let’s get back to our question.
Why is bird poop white? It might seem like a weird question to some but think about it. When have you ever turned to flush the toilet and seen white poop in the bowl? Never!
So whereas people and most of the animal kingdom generally has poop that’s some shade of brown, birds are different. What is it about birds that causes their “turd tint” to deviate from the normal color palette? Why is bird poop white and black?
Experts point to the digestive system. A bird’s body is significantly different than ours and many other animals. They do not urinate and defecate separately. They do it all at one time and all from one place.
So why is bird poop white? Again, there are biological differences. A bird’s kidneys remove waste from their blood but rather than evacuating it as urea broken down in urine, birds release it as uric acid.
Why is bird poop white? It is white because the waste material released by the bird is evacuated in a way that allows it all to be excreted with a minimal loss of water. It also has to do with the way in which the waste is expelled.
Most birds don’t have the same “naughty bits” that humans and many animals have. They have something called a cloaca (which you’d already know about if you had read the piece on turtles breathing out their anuses.)
For those of you who have not read that yet, a cloaca is a multi-purpose posterior opening connected to reproductive, intestinal and urinary tracts. Birds use it to have sex (Google “cloacal kiss”), lay eggs and expel waste.
In actuality, only the dark bits in the center of the white splash is actually “poop”. The white is the acid waste. They generally don’t mix together because while the black stool and the white acidic element are excreted from the same opening they come from separate systems.
(On a side note: According to blogger M. Soniak, while the acidic element is bad for your vehicle’s finish, some folks love fecal facials. Seriously, the Hollywood set gets exfoliating facials made from rice, water and Japanese Nightingale droppings. That’s show biz.)
Why is bird poop white? Now you know.
You ask the questions. We provide the answers.
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