Do Birds Pee?
You know you’ve always been curious 🐦
Birds are pretty cool animals. But like every animal out there, they have to get rid of their waste in some way, too (and if you’re now thinking about the popular children’s book “Everybody Poops,” we totally get it).
So, curious minds want to know: When it comes to a bird’s bathroom habits, how does that work exactly? We all know everybody poops, but when it comes to our feathered friends: Do birds pee?
We spoke to Jamie Fischer, a veterinary nurse with DodoVet, for more information on how birds use the bathroom.
Do birds pee?
Yes, they do! But, it’s not exactly like what you may be thinking.
“Birds do not produce urine in the same way that mammals do,” Fischer told The Dodo. “Instead, they excrete waste in the form of solid uric acid (the white paste-like substance everyone is familiar with).”
Yep, that’s right. If you’ve ever had a bird poop on you, well, that was actually their pee (not to worry, however; it’s good luck, apparently).
“Simply put, birds do not even have a bladder or urethra,” Fischer said. “However, they do have kidneys that filter waste. Birds excrete both feces and uric acid out of their cloaca (the cavity at the end of the digestive tract), which turns into the white paste-like substance mentioned above.”
How often do birds pee?
Frequently! But a bird’s size has a lot to do with how often he pees.
“The cloaca absorbs up to 98 percent of the water filtered by the kidneys, and since there is no bladder to store urine, birds excrete uric acid quite often,” Fischer said.
And the smaller the bird, the more frequent he eliminates — usually every 15 to 60 minutes.
“Birds often eliminate right before flight in order to shed excess weight to make flying more manageable,” Fischer said.
What to do if a bird pees on you
While it’s often said that it’s good luck when you’re hit with a bird’s poop (likely just to make the person feel better!), bird excrement is actually extremely toxic and often carries many diseases and parasites.
“It’s important to wash your hands well when you are cleaning your bird’s cage or after you come in contact with any excrement,” Fischer said. “It’s also very acidic so can be corrosive to your bird’s cage or outdoor bird feeders, bird baths, etc.”
The more you know, friends. While birds do, in fact, pee in an interesting way, that’s not the only thing that makes them pretty incredible animals. Check out our bird content to learn more!
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