Thursday, February 19, 2009

Holy crap--has a bird NO privacy??

Blue Jay
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Okay, so I'm reading the Birds of North America Online species account about us Blue Jays, just as happy as a clam (assuming clams are happy--they actually seem rather morose to me), when I come to the section under Food Habits about "Defecation." And oh, my, GAWD!
Stimulation of the cloacae of captive nestlings induces defecation (Rand 1937, Weisbrod 1965). Nestlings defecate after every second or third feeding. Feces of captive birds no longer enclosed in sacs after about 40 min postfledging (Weisbrod 1965). Weisbrod (1965) also described flatulence accompanying defecation by adult jays observed on cold mornings. No information on defecation rates of adults.

So tell me--just how was this flatulence "described"? I can't wait to get ahold of a copy of Weisbrod, A. R. 1965. The maintenance activities of the Blue Jay, Cyanocitta cristata . M.S. thesis, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY.

Mother never told me there'd be days like this. But she also said never to tell fart jokes on cold mornings. I didn't know I could write a whole dissertation about it!


Ovidia said...

"fart" jokes, not "far" jokes.

Sheesh. You REALLY need a talented editor!!! Perhaps Cornell has one you could work with ...!!!

Laura Erickson said...

Okay, okay. I fixed it.

Anonymous said...

Just when I thought I've heard of everything...

How close do you suppose one has to be to a blue jay to hear it make a sound one might describe as flatulence?

Surely the chickadees have better manners.

Anonymous said...

Vickie, Are you saying that chickadees have better manners than us Blue Jays because chickadees never fart, or that chickadees have better manners than ornithologists because if chickadees did happen to observe a corvid flatulence event, they would discreetly keep the information to themselves?