LyndaC's picture

Whose poo?

Observed: 4th October 2009 By: LyndaCLyndaC’s reputation in Mammals
poo.jpg
poo3.jpg
Description:

Whose poo? There seem to be a lot of seeds in there. 5p piece in photo for scale. Observed at Chimney Wildlife Trust, Oxon.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

anonymous spotter's picture

Faeces

I think Kluut is right - but as he notes there is a lot of it! Maybe it's a regular territorial marking point? Though it all looks quite fresh rather than of varying ages.

anonymous spotter's picture

Faeces

I think Kluut is right - but as (s)he notes there is a lot of it! Maybe it's a regular territorial marking point? Though it all looks quite fresh rather than of varying ages.

LyndaC's picture

Ah, yes, that would make

Ah, yes, that would make sense. I've seen fox at the reserve, and the photo was taken in October when blackberries would've been abundant. Thanks both.

Wombat's picture

whose poo?

it's definately.. Not ME!

the naturalist man's picture

Fox or badger?

I'm more inclined to think this is badger. Fox poo has more animal remains in it and a characteristic 'twisted tail' caused but the physical action of defecating. This is more cylindrical like badger, see:

http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/27339#comment-11236

The only reason I'm hesitant is it does not appear to be in a characteristic scrape in the ground. However, badger do not create scrapes when defecating along their walkways, scrapes are mainly reserved for boundary markers.

Addition:

I've just noticed the 5p piece for scale. This poo is far too big to be fox, I can only think it is badger. Do you know of badger activity in the area?

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411

Kluut's picture

If the animal had been

If the animal had been gorging on berries, there could not be any animal remains in the dropping - there are reliably identified scats on the www that are very similar - with no animal remains (and much reduced tail eg. http://www.wildlifeonline.me.uk/red_fox.html).
The twisted tail is actually present in this dropping (on the very top, where you would expect it to be), but curled over, in part probably due to lack of animal hair to hold its shape - the dung flies are right beside/on it.
As to size (as opposed to total amount) - a 5p has a diameter of 18mm, which makes the diameter of the dropping around 22mm, which is a little large (20mm is regularly given as normal), but the definitive paper of fox scat sizes (http://www.jstor.org/pss/3808716), so far as I can find, is available only via purchase.

The only thing that does not add-up to it being a single fox is the amount.

What is with this recent near universal obsession (even engulfing the BBC), with the nursery word "poo"? What is wrong with any of the many perfectly polite "real" words for faeces, or even faeces?

LyndaC's picture

In answer to the above, I

In answer to the above, I believe there is both fox and badger activity on the reserve. (I have seen fox myself; I was told by a member of the Wildlife Trust some time ago that there are badgers, though not seen them myself.)

LyndaC's picture

Additional photo

I checked the same spot on 10 June 2010 and observed what's shown in the second photo (with a 2p piece for scale). Of course, it's possible it's not the same animal as the first one (it could just be coincidence that the same spot has been used, or I might not have remembered the location as precisely as I think I have). But it could be. So, what's the verdict?

the naturalist man's picture

Fox/badger

For some reason this has popped up again in my unread list.

I still err towards badger, it looks as though the grass is dead in the spot, as though some animal is regularly defecating/urinating there, was that so?

The other thing is fox droppings tend to have a 'tail' twist on one end, these don't. The first photo contains a lot of berries, in this case the fox faeces is too slopy to have a 'tail' but the second photo should have.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411