How Often Do Birds Poop? (SURPRISING Answer! + FAQs)


Have you ever wondered about all the weird things about bird poop? I mean like, when do they poop, where they poop, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, how often do birds poop? Well, I was really curious too, so I did some heavy research and found some answers! Here’s what I found:

Bird poop frequency can range from once every 15 minutes to once every hour during the day, depending on the size of the bird. Smaller birds like pigeons poop more frequently, but large parrots poop less frequently. Birds hardly poop during nighttime during sleep but will poop more in the mornings after.

Now that you’ve learned when birds poop the most, I’ll be covered other interesting facts about bird poop that you never knew before.

Stick around and read to find out more!

How Often Do Birds Poop?

Whether you’re just wondering about how often wild birds poop or noticing your pet bird poop pattern for the first time, this is a common question.

The answer in the box above didn’t provide all the details, so here’s more.

Here’s a comparison table for easy reference:

Size of BirdSpeciesPoop Frequency
SmallBudgerigars, Sparrows, LovebirdsAbout every 15 minutes
MediumParrots, CockatoosAbout every 30 minutes
LargeMacaw, Parrots, ChickensAbout every 60 minutes

You’ll see that the size of the bird greatly affects how often a bird poops. Most of the bird species monitored are pet birds because no one has ever recorded how often a wild bird poops!

Bird poop frequency also varies among different species because of their diet, exercise, and overall health. Birds that consume more food will generally poop more often!

If you’re really curious, I found a YouTube video of an owner sharing how much his pigeons poop in a day:

When Do Birds Poop The Most?

Birds poop the most in the mornings. This is because they store up their poop overnight and can only release all of it in the morning. However, birds can also poop throughout the day. Different species poop with different amounts throughout the day.

Do Birds Poop When They Fly?

Birds do poop while they are flying. This is because they simply do not have control over when they release their poop as they lack an anal sphincter like in humans. As a result, birds can release their poop at any time, even during flight.

Personally, I have actually seen bird poop why they are flying! Why do I say so? Because I saw one in real life!

Storytime: I was sitting by the beach one day in Gold Coast, Australia, soaking in the warm summer sun, when I saw one white string-like mass appear from a bird’s cloaca in front of me. It was heading straight at me.

Thankfully, I immediately recognized it and dodged right in the nick of time! PHEW, that was really close. I confirmed that the bird was flying when it happened and that it was poop that came flying my way when I saw it land right beside me when I dodged it!

Do you need more anecdotal evidence? Here’s a video of a bird pooping while flying – caught on camera!

Do Birds Poop While Sleeping?

Here’s the simple answer:

Birds do not poop while sleeping, but they will wake up during the night to poop multiple times. Smaller birds tend to poop more often in the night than larger birds. However, this varies among different species as some birds will hold it off till morning to have a larger poop instead of waking up to poop.

Many pet owners think that birds may poop during their sleep because they wake up to see lots of poop in the morning.

However, it’s not that they poop in their sleep; they wake up to poop, then go back to sleep.

This happens multiple times during the night until the morning comes!

Do Birds Poop In Their Nest?

Ever wondered whether birds poop in their nest? It’s common knowledge that we know that human babies cry, eat, sleep, and poop.

What about baby birds? Do they poop in their nest? Here’s the simple answer:

Birds do not poop in their nests. When baby birds poop in fecal sacs, their parent birds will either consume or carry it away. In some cases, birds move to the edge of the nest and poop it off the edge. This helps to keep the poop in their nest from causing diseases to the birds.

If you’re still not slightly grossed out by it, you can observe how baby birds do it closely here:

If you’re really wondering WHY birds eat their baby birds’ poop, it’s actually because the poop actually still contains proteins and nutrients that benefit the parents.

Parent birds spend long hours foraging for food to feed their baby birds and themselves.

By consuming their poop, they not only ensure a well-sanitized nest but also satisfy their nutritional requirements!

Okay, moving on to something less graphic now!

Do Birds Poop In The Same Spot?

Wondering about this? Here’s the simple answer to the question:

Birds can poop in the same spot if it is right above where a bird flock is roosting. Birds do not control where they poop at but they can poop a lot at the same spot where they are perching for most of their day. Otherwise, birds do not specifically poop at a particular spot on purpose.

Another personal experience of mine now: I clearly remember how when I was in my middle school days, I would always walk past this long stretch of sidewalk which had a particular tree where there were many starlings roosting in. I think that flock was at least up to 50!

I could always remember the sounds of lots of them chirping in the mornings and the smell of the poop all over the floor below the tree…

I remember running across that area, holding my breath, hoping I won’t get hit by any poop. What a scary memory of my childhood!

Do Birds Poop Near Bird Feeders?

Birds do poop near and on bird feeders. As birds do not control when they are pooping, while consuming feed from bird feeders, birds will undeniably be pooping while they are perching on them. As such, bird poop near bird feeders needs to be cleaned up often to prevent disease.

Many of us like to set up bird feeders hoping to attract birds, but increasingly, we can often see that bird dropping start to gather in the vicinity of bird feeders and this can be a concern to us as it can bring about diseases.

How Do I Stop Birds From Pooping On My Bird Feeder?

It is not possible to stop birds from pooping on bird feeders as this is a natural response for them and they cannot control it. As such, it is important for bird feeder owners to be responsible to clean out bird feeders often to prevent diseases from festering from the leftover fecal matter.

How To Clean Your Bird Feeder

Here’s a really helpful video on how to clean your bird feeder instead!

Can Birds Control When They Poop?

Birds can control when they poop because they have a strong anal sphincter known as the Cloaca. However, birds have little regard for the particular timing they release their poop. Only birds such as blue-footed boobies can control when they poop in order to mark their territory.

Here’s a really disgusting picture of a blue-footed booby at its nest. It poops in the direction facing away from the sun. So, as you can expect, the bird poops in a nice circle throughout the day.

It’s a fecal sundial of sorts, kinda gross but really cool, ain’t it?

How Many Times Does A Bird Poop A Day?

A bird poops about 48 times a day. Birds with smaller sizes poop more times in a day. Smaller-sized birds like lovebirds can poop about 100 times a day, medium-sized birds poop about 48 times a day, and larger-sized birds like macaw can poop about 24 times a day.

Do Birds Poop In Their Nest?

Birds do not poop in their nests. Birds have a feeding-defecation system that tells birds to poop only when they are being fed by their mother birds. Mother birds either consume or dispose of their fecal sacs to maintain good sanitation. Some baby birds move to the edge of the nest and poop it off by themselves.

How Often Do Baby Birds Poop?

Baby birds poop as often as they are fed. This is because defecation in baby birds is stimulated when they are fed by their mother bird. When baby birds poop, the mother bird can maintain sanitation conditions in the nest by either consuming or disposing of the fecal sac that the baby bird poops out.

Do Lovebirds Poop A Lot?

Lovebirds do poop a lot because of their high metabolism. Lovebirds tend to poop more frequently when being fed. Scientists have also recently discovered that bird defecation is stimulated when being fed in a relationship known as the feeding-defecation system. [1]

Final Thoughts

This has been a really shitty article, like literally, because all I’ve been talking about is bird droppings and poop! Well, I still hope that you would have your questions answered anyway! Thanks for reading this article thus far. Happy birding!

References

  1. Quan, Rc., Li, H., Wang, B. et al. The relationship between defecation and feeding in nestling birds: observational and experimental evidence. Front Zool 12, 21 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12983-015-0116-y

My Recommended Birding Resources:

Hey there, Justin here!

Here’s a list of all my favorite resources, products, and all brands I trust and love.

Although some may be affiliate links, I will only recommend those that I think are of great value. Simply purchasing using the links helps to keep this blog running!

  • My Binoculars: The pair of binoculars that I personally use is the Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars. It’s a great budget pair for beginner birders. Highly valued for its price! Read my review here.
  • Safe Paint for Bird Baths: Not any paint can be used to paint bird baths. Links to all safe paint for bird baths are in this article I wrote!
  • Safe Sealers for Bird Baths: Not all sealers can be used to paint bird baths. Links to all sealers for bird baths are in this article I wrote!
  • Safe Paint for Bird Feeders: Special care needs to be taken to paint bird feeders with the right paint. Read more in the article here!
  • Safe Paint for Birdhouses: Not any paint can be used to paint birdhouses. Links to all safe paint for birdhouses are in this article I wrote!
  • Birding Apps: 2 of my favorite birding apps are Merlin Bird ID, and eBird Mobile! Merlin is great for tracking and identifying birds, and eBird Mobile is great to track the birds sighted when birding. Read a post about them here.
  • Birding Websites: I’ve compiled a list of links to my top 10 recommended birding websites in a blog post. Find the links here!
  • Birding Podcasts: Birding podcasts are a great way to learn about birds. Links to the top 8 that I recommend can be found here!

Alternatively, you can check out my resources page here where I’ve compiled all the links to the above!

Why Do Love Birds Attack Each Other? x

Justin

Justin is a hobbyist birder that hopes to share his birding knowledge with the world. His favorite bird is the Large-tailed Nightjar and he really loves potato chips!

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