fleigh's picture


Observed: 4th May 2010 By: fleigh

found on moorland in forest of bowland. could this be hen harrier poo?

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Kluut's picture

Bird of prey droppings - general

Birds of prey that feed on mammals and birds in particular produce very liquid droppings as their food contains very little roughage and very little that is indigestible. What is not digested - mostly bones, fur/feathers, teeth etc., is mostly cast (regurgitated) as pellets.

Paul Fenton's picture

some one crapping in my swimming pool

Every morning I find a 3-4 inch 'dump' of very liquid, very smelly brown faeces in the same place on my swimming pool cover, in the pool. There is a full-size tissue paper wipe required then it washes off easily with the hose pipe. I think it might be a bird of prey because this morning there was a white, bird-like component alongside the brown mass. Before I can figure out how to change this habit I need to know what the animal is. Any suggestions?

Kluut's picture

The culprit is eating high

The culprit is eating high fat, high protein, low fibre diet - the reason for the dropping being liquid. The smell also ties-in with high fatty acid and high amine content - fats and protein again. If the white streak is definatley associated with the dropping, it will be a bird as this is the kidneys' output - urates and uric acid.

As to specific ID - slim chance with no more clues.

Paul Fenton's picture

pool droppings

Thanks Kluut. Must be a large bird. This is SW France, lots of them round here with good eating. I'll have to camp out to get a sighting. By the way, how often do owls prey on moles? We had several moles here but now only the part-devoured mole bodies lying around.

Kluut's picture

Mole predator

All predators will take any convenient, suitably-sized prey, but moles don't figure highly on the menu of anything simply because they aren't easy to catch - they are underground almost permanently.
Most birds of prey tend to make-off with prey, so remains left around would tend to favour a mammalian predator. Also, a mammal would be more likely as if several moles have been caught, they are probably being dug up.
Something is desperate to resort to hunting moles.

RoyW's picture

Probably better to leave the ID as 'Galliforme species'

As Klutt says, these are the droppings of some sort of gamebird.
Unless someone can give a good reason why these are Red Grouse droppings, I would think that it would be better to be less specific about the ID.

Given the area and the very brief description of the habitat, I would think that Red & Black Grouse, Pheasant, and perhaps either of the Partridge species found in Britain could have produced these - can it really be narrowed down further from the photo?

Kluut's picture


The fibrous droppings are typical of grouse, rather than any other galliforme. All the native grouse eat "rubbish" most of the year - twigs, buds, bark, catkins etc., and it is this that appears in the droppings - I always describe them to people as cigarette butts. (The caeacal droppings are very much like grease, with no structure to them.)
The fact that there is a pile also tends to indicate red grouse.
They are far too large for partridge droppings.

Peter M McEvoy's picture

you dropped your glasses ;)

you dropped your glasses ;)

New Flora of the Isle of Man