Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Spew, Barf, Gack! …an Update

John Carlson, a wonderful scientist/photographer/family man/blogger from over at PrarieIce, was kind enough to research my questions regarding Bird Vomit. This is what he had to say:

Recently Beverly asked me about bird vomit. In particular she wanted to know if the "material" ejected by the birds when it is used as a defensive mechanism was the same "material" used to feed the young.

I did a bit of digging and found out that prey derived stomach oils are used both as an energy source as well as a defensive/offensive tool, at least for petrels, the family of birds most often associated with defensive projectile vomiting. Oils are produced by both adults and chicks and it is indeed fed to chicks by the adults.

Read the entire fascinating article
and see John’s spectacular photos here…

No comments: