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Thread subject: Perhaps this is "too much information" but.........
Name Date Message
Melanie 06/19/04 01:32 pm I've been watching birds for years, but this is definitely one of those really stupid brain flashes that can only happen when the cat wakes you up, bounding about the bed at 3 am. Do Opsreys rely solely on fish for water in their diet or do they drink as well? Obviously the chicks do as long as they are in the nest. And do they have a "single use" excretory system? In other words, do they only poop or do they pee, also? Yes, I know - one of the burning questions of our time...............
Shelley (with a great big wink) 06/19/04 01:59 pm Well, Melanie, great minds must think alike because I asked that very question (the drinking one) only very recently (can't remember if it was on a 5 a.m. cat day or not!). If you click back a page or 2 on this forum, you can probably find it and the answers.

Have to admit, though, I never thought of your second question!! I'd love to know. Hang on, let me call in the expert: Oooohhhhh, Rocket Man, are you out there????? ;-)
Marie 06/19/04 07:27 pm In answer to your question Melanie re. thirst and fluid I thought I would share what I have read. From all accounts Ospreys, Raptors, seem to rely on the body fliuds of their prey to give them enough liguid to maintain their body functions. I know I have seen small and larger birds take sips of water in bird baths, ponds, at beaches, sea water, or rain puddles. Guess one will have to spend hours watching an osprey to see if it actually stops off somewhere to get a drink of water. Obviously the little ones don't have that luxury. Ospreys/birds do have digestive and urinary systems and they both collect in the same place at the 'RUMP' end of the bird. This is called the Cloaca. Birds don't have bladders except in Ostriches and rheas.( I don't know why it is so for these two bird species.) Birds excrete urates and not urea as in mammals, so they don't need much water at all to flush this out. In the cloaca the wastes from the two systems( digestive and urinary) mix and are expelled as liguid through the VENT. BTW the Eggs are laid through the same VENT having travelled down the oviduct. The egg once deposited into the cloaca is laid immediately. Fertilization of the female by the male all happens in the same place too, so it appears that this opening has many uses. Knowing where eggs have been, one might think about washing ones hands over and over again. oooh! ;-))
End of todays lesson on birds.
Dave S 06/19/04 07:46 pm Marie,

Your are good, and quick with info! FYI, in a lot of birds (not raptors) the white is the "urine" and he grenn the "fecis". One has to assume the "jet" that the Osprey emit is both.
Marie 06/19/04 08:18 pm Thank you Dave... just wanted to share. I hope I didn't put you out on a limb. Thought it would be best coming from the experts as to what the colours of the 'Jets' really meant. There is a very amusing book that I once read called...'What Bird did that?' Glorious colour of different shapes and size of bird SPLAT. Really quite amusing. Have you seen it?
Am off to discover the colour and consistency of the 'Jet propulsion' beneath the Victoria Eagle's nest now... Will report what I see.
Shelley 06/19/04 08:45 pm Oooo, Marie, give me more details of this book! I love stuff like that. I have a wonderful kids book called The Scoop On Poop (The Fascinating Science of How Animals Use Poop to Build Homes, Attract Partners, Send Messages, Cool Off & Lots More) by Wayne Lynch. It's terrific!

Good thing I'm a teacher or I might be considered just plain weird!! :-D
Celeste 06/20/04 04:36 am Once again Marie, thank you for all your insights. It is so true that every day life gives you an opportunity to learn something new!
Marie 06/20/04 11:41 am Hey Shelley, did you know Wayne Lynch was a Doctor turned Photographer...he loves Birds too. To all those who haven't watched WINGED MIGRATION...I strongly recommend it for it will give you a real scense of what it is like to be a bird and to know how to fly. The big sceen is the best place to watch this movie but it is out on DVD now. If you can leave the comfort of your own chair for a moment while watching, and allow yourself to reach the skies the feeling that this movie creates is awesome.
Marie 06/20/04 11:54 am Eagle nest report...the WHITE-WASH beneath the nest on so many rocks at the beach is truly WHITE and it has washed the rocks below...Dave it is all White, no other colour visible. You had mentioned Raptors have only white so why is this? Since most raptors eat different things one would expect different colours. Certainly plenty of prey items below the nest.Ie, gull wings, and bits of small ducks, and a few fish bones. Those eagle chicks are well fed as there is a breeding colony not far out in the bay. The eagles, if they haven't brought down a gull when flying, they just pick them off while the gull sits on its nest. A varied diet these eagle chicks receive.
Celeste 06/20/04 12:38 pm I must have watched Winged Migration a hundred times over the winter. I even have the CD as I love the music. It really is a terrific DVD.
Marie 06/20/04 02:19 pm Me too...watched x 6 at the theatre, have the CD for music which I play almost every day and now have the DVD. You DO KNOW that feeling I talk of Celeste too can fly with the birds, not truly in a physical sense but in a Spiritual one and that is what is IMPORTANT. Did you ever see Johnathan Living Seagull? Another truly amazing film.
Celeste 06/20/04 03:47 pm Never saw the film, however I read the book when it first came out years ago. I have to "look" into the film! Thank you. Winged Migration is truly "haunting". The how to's of filming, the magnificence of the migratory birds, and the pure miracle of it all.
Shelley 06/20/04 04:01 pm Thanks, all. I have seen *Winged Migration* in the theatre twice and was absolutely mesmerized by it. I wrote a review of it for the other Animal board I go to.

Did I mention that my trusty old VCR broke? It happened the day I wanted to tape the *Pale Male* special (a colleague at work taped it for me, though!). Had just used it to tape and watch something days before but when I went to eject that tape to put in a new one and set it to tape, it wouldn't rewind, wouldn't eject. They wanted $65 just to look at it and if something --ANYTHING -- needed to be done, well, you get the picture. Everyone, including the repair guys, tell me to just buy a new one. I hate that we are such a throw-away society but the truth of it is, the machine is at least 5 years old and it probably does make more sense to replace rather than repair. Sigh.

So yesterday, I went out and bought a new one. It's a Toshiba VCR/DVD combo and looks great. I will be hooking it up tonight. I never intended to get a DVD but it was too good a deal to pass up. I promised myself that the first DVD I would buy for myself will be *Winged Migration*! Can't wait!! :-)

Marie, I have a few of Wayne Lynch's books. His photography is magnificent and I love how he writes, too. I did not know he was a doctor. A medical doctor?
Marie 06/21/04 12:10 am Guess what Shelley, my first DVD and the only one I own so far is WINGED it !!! If you get your copy, then East meets West in a unique sort of way. I am a crazy bird lady!!!! My son bought the DVD player for me for my birthday this Spring. Yes to Wayne Lynch...he was a medical doctor. Yes, his photography has inspired me too. Check out BC BIRDING VICTORIA. and BCFO web will see some of my bird pictures too.
Shelley 06/21/04 06:03 am Thanks, Marie. Can you put the exact link here for those 2 sites you mentioned? I'd love to see your photos

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Fri Dec 31 23:49:43 EST 2004