Do Birds Pee?

Do Birds Pee?

Birds are fascinating animals because they seem to be so different from humans. But have you ever seen a bird pee? It’s more likely that you noticed the watery but white bird droppings around. This is a bird’s way of peeing, although this excrement is thicker in consistency than urine.

In this article, I will take a look at whether birds pee and why their poop is white.

Photo by Carl Owenby

Do birds pee?

No, birds don’t pee or urinate in the same way as other animals do. This is because birds don’t have a bladder where their body can keep urine.

This means that birds cannot technically urinate like mammals. However, they still release fecal matters and uric acid to remove any waste products from their system.

Why don’t birds pee?

When you notice mammals peeing, such as dogs, then they release urine that is made of uric acid. This urine is stored in their bladders that removed through the urethras once the bladder is full. However, solid waste is removed from the body in a different way.

In comparison, birds have a different body system because they don’t have a bladder and urethral opening to release renal waste. Instead, they have a cloaca which is a simply opening where both renal and intestinal waste is released immediately once it passes through their body.

One of the main reasons why birds don’t pee is because they simply don’t have a bladder to store any urine. This is important for lightweight birds. Storing urine would make the bird heavy which would make it difficult for the animal to fly.

Instead of urine being stored in a bladder, bird pee is moved directly from their kidneys to the cloaca opening.

The cloaca

Birds also don’t have an urethral opening like mammals where they can remove waste. Instead, a bird releases all waste out of a so-called cloaca. This is a simple opening near the tail of the bird that is used for all digestive, reproductive and urinary functions.

Feces and urine come together in the cloaca where they are then expelled.

Photo by Jared Yelton

The avian digestive system

While some parts of the bird’s body is similar to that of mammals and humans, they have a slightly different digestive system. When a bird eats, any liquids and food enters through the mouth. It is then directed into the stomach where it is partially digested.

Then the digested substance is moved into the small intestine and large intestine, where the waste passes through to the cloaca.

Birds have efficient kidneys

When you are looking at the effective digestion of a bird, then you will notice that all bodily functions are designed to expel waste as soon as possible. This is to prevent making the bird heavy and keeping it from flying. When watching birds, you may notice that they often release this white waste just before they take off.

Similar to human kidneys, bird kidneys filter all the toxins from the blood and produce urine. These small organs are essential to cleanse the bird’s blood and maintain a good balance. They are more efficient than human kidneys as they process waste ready for it to be released immediately.

Birds produce different waste

Unlike mammals, bird don’t produce urea because they cannot store water. Instead, birds produce nitrogenous waste made up of uric acid and solids.

This type of poop requires a lot less water and less energy to produce than urea. This nitrogen-heavy waste helps the bird to remove any harmful substances from their body.

Photo by dids

Why is bird poop white?

Bird poop and pee is white because birds don’t produce urine. Instead, their body creates a nitrogenous waste. This fecal matter contains uric acid, just like urine, but it also has other substances that turn bird pee white.

How often do birds pee?

Birds pee and poop a lot more frequently than mammals, humans and other animals. They cannot hold their pee for a long time, so they excrete it regularly. In addition, birds also process their food at a fast pace which means that they pee between 2.5 hours and 12 hours.

The exact frequency depends on the bird’s food intake, the animal’s health condition and age. This regular release of poop allows the bird to stay light during flight. That’s also the reason why most birds poop when they fly over cars and built-up areas.

You may even notice that a bird poops when it’s frightened. This is a natural shock response.

How much do birds pee?

Birds have an average body temperature of 102 to 112 degrees Fahrenheit. They also have a high metabolism. These two elements means that a bird pees frequently. How much a bird pees or poops depends on its size and species. Larger birds release a lot more fecal excrement than small birds.

This being said, there are also differenced in the type of waste that a bird can pass. While most birds miss their solid and liquid waste inside and then release it, other birds release urine and solids through the cloaca separately.

Is getting peed on by a bird good luck?

Many cultures across the world consider being pooped on by a bird a sign of good luck. Bird pee is often considered a symbol of riches and wealth.

Some cultures also make a distinction between where the bird poop landed. If the pee ends up on your car, then you might be lucky with your next car journey.

If you are peed on your head by a bird, then this is considered a sign of good luck for years to come.

Final Thoughts

While birds don’t pee in the same ways as other animals do, they can excrete waste through an opening called the cloaca.


What is it called when a bird poops?

Colloquially, we call bird poop droppings.

How toxic is bird poop?

Some animal poop is less offensive than others. Compare horse to dog, for instance. Bird poop, unfortunately, is up there on the yuck scale. It is not good to be around and not just because it is unpleasant. There are several diseases in bird poop so it is best to steer clear of it.

What does it mean when a bird poops on?

Traditionally it is seen to be good luck if a bird poops on you. I think that is just people around you trying to make you feel better!

Aren’t some bird poops different colors?

Yes. Although it is usually white or white-ish, some birds process food differently or have a different diet resulting in different textures and colors.

What about owls?

Owls still poop as described above. However, they swallow small prey whole. The fur and bones are not digested though and are regurgitated as pellets.

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