1/18/2007

I don't know what's going on in my birdbath.

Do you?

IMG_6802

The birds are leaving all this crap behind. And by crap, I do not mean shit.

Are they seeds? Why are birds leaving seeds in my birdbath? (I guess it's their birdbath, but I have title to it, right?)

Are they softening the seedcoats? Birds don't care about germinating new plants. They just want to eat, right? Maybe the birds know soaking these seeds makes the seeds taste better. Birds can't taste capsaicin, but maybe there are other tastes birds cannot abide.

Softening the seedcoat might make the seed more digestible. But how would a bird know that? A bird doesn't understand that it digests its food. And birds eat plenty of seeds without soaking them first. How would they know these seeds need soaking?

And what about the seed? What's it getting in the bargain? (And what kind of seed is this anyway? I can't take a good picture of it. It's kinda spotted, and when I cut it open, it's white inside.)

Does the seed expect a bird to soak it in water before it germinates? Birds and seeds evolved without birdbaths. Where would a bird find water right now if my birdbath wasn't here? It's been cold and frosty. There is no standing water anywhere right now. There would have been streams without all these buildings, but leaving food in streams doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

Am I being too rational about this? Birds have tiny little brains. Maybe they're crazy. Maybe the bird vomited these seeds in my birdbath. Eww!

P.S. Please share your ideas about this in the comments.

5 comments:

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

First we need to know what kind of seed this is. That will help because we can determine the plants method of dispersal.

Possibilities:
They came in on the wind, fell from a plant or were forcibly ejected by a plant.

It's a bath right. Maybe the seeds stick to the bird by hairs, hooks or glue and they came to get them off.

Could be bird poop. They ate a fruit with a hard seed and it came out clean as a bird's whistle.

chuck b. said...

Excellent theories. I especially like the seeds coming in stuck on birds, or possibly being bird poop.

There isn't any thing growing near anywhere near the bath forcibly ejecting seeds right now. If there was, I'd know it. And the seeds wouldn't be just in my birdbath.

anile said...

It's actually the birds digestive system that softens the seed coat, so I think, since bird excrete urine and feces together, it's the seed that has passed thru the digestive system. Just mho, tho. ;)

chuck b. said...

I think you guys are right. This IS bird shit. After all, it's the simplest possibility, isn't it?

Not wild about having a birdbath where birds bathe in the urine and feces of other birds, I gave it a good cleaning and refilled it with fresh water.

lisa said...

Spotted seeds that are white inside?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis
Perhap this link may help...;)
As for birds intentionally doing something with the seeds...well, some birds do use tools to crack open nuts and clamshells, etc., so maybe they're softening them up. I think it's more likely they don't like that kind of seed...protest, perhaps? Or just bird poop, with seeds "reconstituted" from the water. After all, have you ever seen peas once you're "done" with them? :)