back to article Just what is the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow? We ask because one got into the office and left quite a mess

It's now over a year since offices were shuttered and phrases like "remote" or "hybrid" working began to be bandied about. And although hands have been wrung over "Zoom Fatigue", few appear to have noted the real threat posed to harmonious home working: birds. Away from the sealed cocoon of an airconditioned office some, …

  1. Kevin Fairhurst

    Dare I ask... what shed? Mrs F is looking at replacing the 3m x 3m summerhouse we have, and getting in something bigger so it can be used as a combined office & craft area (as opposed to barbecue/lawnmower/furniture dumping ground as currently).

    However, prices appear to have skyrocketed since we bought this "small" one 7 years ago; the same design has doubled in price, so I imagine the larger ones have increased in line with demand also...

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      A shed for the ages could be a retired 20ft shipping container, they are usually cheap and the money you save can be used for tarting it up.

      Second hand site offices are often up for sale too.

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        They're not cheap at the moment. Demand is high for some reason.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          @Graham Dawson

          It may be because a couple of trendy designers have started build houses with 'upcycled' containers, never let a trendy designer type get hold of anything secondhand that is currently a bargain.

        2. jake Silver badge

          People aren't producing and shipping non-essential items during these Covid times, so production of new shipping containers is at an historic low. During the meanwhile, the decent used ones have been sold for just the extra space the OP was asking about, thus driving up the price.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Need to be careful with shipping containers. They stuck some out as offices and accommodation here in the NT during the federal intervention in indigenous communities. They found that the various glues and resins used to construct them were giving off toxic vapours.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          What that AC said. Shipping containers are primarily made to be sturdy steel boxes to ship stuff in. The downside to this for using it as anything else is that it's basically just a steel box. Unless you put a very big AC unit and heater in and cover it liberally inside AND outside with insulating material, it'll be either a big steel sauna if even a modicum of sunlight hits it (I know, not too much risk of that in Ol' Blighty but still) or a refrigerator.

          On top of that they're noisy (being a big steel box) and a pain to modify (being a big thick walled steel box). Unless you can get one REALLY cheap, I'd look elsewhere for my construction material.

          1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

            But if planned and done properly, any shipping container can be converted to a most excellent small office or the such.

            As mentioned, insulation and the such need to be high on the list of things to be done.

            1. CuChulainn

              Absolutely.

              There was a local cafe/snack bar in my city which had been created using shipping containers. It was two storey. Admittedly, it had had windows installed into cut outs.

              And the road gangs often use converted shipping containers for offices.

            2. imanidiot Silver badge

              Can be yes. But unless you're intending to regularly move it (which is the big selling point for those road gangs and constructors) I seriously doubt if you'd not be better off constructing one from prefab wall and roof panels. You can buy corrugated and flat steel panels with the insulation preapplied. So you build a wood or steel frame with wood joists, then screw the outer panels straight to the joists. And done. Apply some interior paneling if so inclined. An insulated building that isn't all that echo-ie. Probably for similar cost to buying and converting a shipping container. Sure you have to create a basic foundation, but if you want a shipping container to stay on the surface you'll have to provide a proper pad for it too.

  2. Korev Silver badge
    Coat

    I think it's great that you're asking us for tips here; would that be a type of Crow-d sourcing?

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Joke

      So, it looks like. the solution to the security problem is to not use Windows...

      1. DarkLordofSurrey
        Coat

        With the described amount of flying faeces you'd definitely want a Mac!

        1. Zarno Bronze badge
          Linux

          Birds like to eat apples, so might as well give in to the birds and use Linux.

          1. Zarno Bronze badge
            Devil

            Or go to the dark side, and use BSD.

            Icon because closest thing to a BSD Daemon in the arsenal.

            And yes, I did double post just to get the icons right.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A cat

    They tend to do the job.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: A cat

      But they'd eat his computer's mouse too...

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: A cat

      Unless the cat decides to bring you a live present, then its a bird flying around banging into everything

      1. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: A cat

        Mine usually retrieve ground dwelling toys, although a couple of inactive flighted models have been encountered, one of which had leather wings.

        Only one live avian and it did indeed defecate on my bookcase before basically shrugging at me as I approached, allowing me to take it into custody and provide it with safe passage to the greater outdoors.

  4. Magani
    Happy

    Just what is the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow?

    African or European?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Just what is the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow?

      I have no specific knowledge of passerine pooping propensity bit I do remember once reading that a robin can eat 14ft of worms in a day.I would imagine 14ft of processed worm produces a not dissimilar amount of poop.

      Try mounting one of those electrified fly swats across the window opening.

    3. chivo243 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Just what is the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow?

      I knew it would be a comment, as soon as I read the headline! Now how long until someone makes the High Anxiety reference! Mel Brooks anyone?

  5. Andy Non Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Small guage chicken wire?

    Bit of mesh on the inside to keep the blighters out while the window is open?

    I've been having a similar problem with pigeons lately. I keep a bowl of water outside for our dogs to drink. The pigeons have also been drinking from the bowl too, which I didn't mind in the least until recently one pigeon decided it was fun to perch on the side of the bowl, have a drink, then turn around and shit in the water. After putting up with the avian anti-social lout doing this every day for a couple of weeks I ended up moulding a bit of chicken wire to sit around the bowl and over the edge of the rim. Success, the pigeons no longer land on the rim or drink from the bowl. It was either that or serve the pigeon an ASBO.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Small guage chicken wire?

      Screening or chicken wire is the answer. Window screening will also keep out flies. I guess I don't understand the entire problem as I would have put screening on all the windows and also a screen door.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Small guage chicken wire?

        Pretty much every house in Australia has screens across every opening window and door as standard. It's very effective at keeping out all but the most determined Death Mosquito or Murder Gnat.

        I imagine, if you're only after the sparrows, you could probably manage with a larger mesh.

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Small guage chicken wire?

      It was either that or serve the pigeon an ASBO.

      Presumably that's an Anti-Social Bird Order.

  6. TRT Silver badge

    Birds...

    have a cloaca. That's a one-size fits all posterior hole.

    They are also immune to the effects of chilli - no receptors for capsaicin.

    They also have regional dialects and songs as well as more species specific calls - these all change over time.

    And... that's about it really. As to the question... what goes in must come out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Birds...

      I prostrate at your learnedness.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Birds...

      They are also immune to the effects of chilli - no receptors for capsaicin.

      I beg to er differ?, a friend once had many tropical birds, and hot dried chilies were a treat, they loved them! Maybe they don't get the ring of fire? But still enjoy them like we do!

      1. Bill Gray

        Re: Birds...

        I believe TRT may mean "they don't get distressed by chilies". I've heard of people adding capsaicin (or red pepper flakes or similar) to birdseed to keep the squirrels and other rodents out of it. The birds will eat such happily, and the rodents will go dine elsewhere.

        1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Birds...

          'Tis true! You can buy the fancy (and expensive) pre-mixed pepper oil, but I make my own with a bottle of hot sauce and veg oil (both can even be cheap dollar store variety). I found mixing only what you need at a time works best. Recipe for my tube feeder: start with just under three pounds of mixed seed in a dedicated bucket, mix 1 oz oil with 1 oz hot sauce in a small glass, drizzle over seed, stir until fully coated, pour into feeder.

          Without the pepper, not only did we get squirrels but even white-tailed deer could eat the whole tube-full in a night.

          Pepper-flavored suet works great also, as long as it's not cheap. C&S Products works best compared to any store's house brand. Anything non-pepper, especially heavy on the peanuts, brings the squirrels like crazy.

          1. Bill Gray

            Re: Birds...

            Ah, thank you for that. We attempted to feed birds winter before last, with a tube feeder suspended with a line and pulley from a tree branch. No problems with squirrels, but birds toss out a lot of seeds to the ground, and we started seeing rats there, sometimes two dozen at a time. I didn't want to starve birds in midwinter, but come spring, the bird (and rat) feeding ended. I may give your recipe a try and see what happens. It should work; squirrels are basically just rats with more fur.

  7. DailyLlama
    Mushroom

    I say we pull back to the ship and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

  8. Bored & Insane

    Invest in mosquito screens.

    It's an ultra fine metal mesh that allows light & air through, but not much else. Even rain water tends to be diverted by being unable to stand against the mesh long enough to soak through. Get screens made for the outsides of the windows, then you can open them to let in everything while keeping the birds & bugs at bay. Get a larger version installed to the outside of the doors, called a "screen door" here in the States for obvious reasons, and your inward opening exterior doors can be opened in the same fashion as the windows. If your exterior doors open outward (towards the outside of the building), then you wind up with an interior screen door, having to open it to open the outer, and that's just silly.

    Window screens & screen doors allow you to open the place up to reap the benefits of the world outside, all without having to let in the birds, bugs, & strays that might wander past. As an added benefit, if you attach a set of aligator clips to the metal mesh, a pair of leads to a switch, & then a power source, you're then in possession of some rather amusing form of solicitor repellent. Happy zapping! =-D

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Invest in mosquito screens.

      Agreed. Came in to post the same.

      Put a mosquito screen on your window. Problem solved.

      That said, I am interested in knowing the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow. For general culture purposes, obviously.

      1. Potty Professor
        Linux

        Re: The poop capacity of an unladen sparrow

        The poop capacity of an _unladen_ sparrow should not be of concern, it is the poop capacity of a _laden_ sparrow that is the deciding factor of how much poop it will _unload_ before it becomes _unladen_.

        (Yes, I know it's not a sparrow, but I couldn't find a more suitable icon)

    2. cray74

      Re: Invest in mosquito screens.

      Thank you. I was here to say the same thing. Screens and screen doors are vital in Florida to let in winter and spring breezes without the clouds of mosquitos that can carry away small children.

      Screens also keep out birds, even large sandhill cranes who defecate in quantities rivaling the bodyweight of a swallow anywhere they're allowed to access. Great fertilizer for the yard but not something I want on my back porch.

      1. CuChulainn

        Re: Invest in mosquito screens.

        I have them on my bedroom windows (UK). Over the years I was driven to distraction by the bugs being attracted to my monitors and TV. At one time I even got a thrip which crawled inside my display and was moving around like that annoying GIF people sometimes use as an avatar.

        The flyscreens (with midge mesh to keep thrips out) work perfectly.

        The poop discharge capacity of small birds is a a complex function of what they've been eating, whether or not my car is underneath them, and whether or not it's just been cleaned and waxed. There's also the fact that they only s(h)it on the couple of metres of phone line that's above my car, and not the other 20 metres or so. I'm sure they do it on purpose.

        Then there was the time when I parked under a tree in the middle of summer to talk to someone. There was an almighty thump, the car appeared to rock, and a turd the size of a house brick had splatted on the windscreen. I don't know what was up there, and I didn't want to. So I'll blame the pigeons again.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Invest in mosquito screens.

          Might have been a heron. I've seen one leave a lengthways racing stripe across my car. Literally front bumper to back bumper...

          1. Potty Professor
            Boffin

            Re: Herons, etc.

            Ever watched a Cormorant take off from sitting on a wooden post at the end of a groin on the beach? You've heard of JATO (Jet Assisted Take Off), but they employ ShATO by defecating mightily as they launch themselves vertically upwards with muscular contractions of the leg and flight muscles. Don't get too near, it can squirt for tens of feet behind the perpetrator (or should that be poopetrator)

    3. KarMann
      Pint

      Re: Invest in mosquito screens.

      Add me to those who came here to say much the same thing. I grew up in the US, and was quite used to having a screen window outside the glass, pretty much thought of it as the default. I had some idea that standard German windows were different, but when I moved to the UK, I was rather surprised by the complete lack of screens on any windows or doors. One area where I still prefer the US version of doing things, although there is something to be said for the British (& German) swinging windows, v. the typical American home vertically-sliding ones, where I've seen most of the screens in my day.

      They do keep a good range of insect sizes out, but in Wisconsin (and many other places, I'm sure), the joke was that the mosquitoes come in two sizes: those small enough to fit through the holes in the screen door, and those big enough to open it.

      1. ShadowSystems

        At KarMann, re: mosquito sizes.

        I spent a Summer in Texas one year as an idiot teen. (I'll never make that mistake again, nor will I ever live in Texas. *COUGH*) My friend said that Texas has two sizes of mosquitos: ones small enough to fit through the mesh, and the ones that hover over your home, tear the roof off, reach in to grab the screaming food inside, then fly away with said victims & parts of the roof still wedged in their toes.

        I don't know if that's true, but only because I opted to stay inside the apartment as much as possible -- the two floors above me keeping their nightly feedings away from me.

        My friend's dad joked that "the mosquito's are why every Texan keeps a shotgun. It's to give us a fighting chance when one swoops down & tries to carry off our truck!"

        I pray he was kidding... =-Jp

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: At KarMann, re: mosquito sizes.

          Ahem. <Phil Sheridan> “If Satan owned Hell and Texas, he’d live in Hell and rent out Texas.” </Phil Sheridan>

          Just in case it need be said, Little Phil was not a fan of Texas or Texans.

  9. John Riddoch
    Mushroom

    Semi related

    It astounds me the stench that can be produced by a kitten taking a dump in a litter tray. How can something so small (and so cute) produce something smelling so rank????

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Semi related

      "How can something so small (and so cute) produce something smelling so rank????"

      Practise...... usually in your neighbours gardens !!! :)

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Semi related

      > How can something so small (and so cute) produce something smelling so rank????

      You never had children, had you...

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Semi related

        The first few days are the worst (Icon - BioHazardish).....

      2. ShadowSystems

        At ThatOne, re: children.

        I wish I could upvote you another hundred times. My son would, if I failed to get up fast enough when he cried in his crib, use the poop from his nappies to fingerpaint all over everything he could reach -- the crib, himself, the bedding, his toys, the walls, my spectacles, etc. I never understood how a baby barely half a meter tall on his tippy toes could generate SO. MUCH. SHITE.

        By the time I'd finished cleaning him & everything else, I was ready to stick a cork up his bum to keep it all contained, but then I realized he'd be a pressure vessel with a sphincter launched rail cannon. Nope, safer to deal with the fingerpaint. *Sigh* =-Jp

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: At ThatOne, re: children.

          Yes, with one hole you know at least what to keep an eye on. Plugging the outlet could have resulted in it coming out of the ears instead and then you'd have two flows to deal with.

          Plus you have to hide your headphones.

          Dammit, I must check my dosage.

          :)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Semi related

        You never had children, had you...

        Obviously, or he would have mentioned the Tardis-alike capacity as well. I recall being astonished at their casual defiance of physics of the sheer volume they could produce, way beyond the holding capacity of any nappy or even surrounding onesie - it doesn't seem physically possible for such a small body to evacuate so much of a toxic substance.

        On the plus side, once you have dealt with kids, the smell of the London Tube on a rainy day or even carting a a durian around no longer poses much of a challenge..

        1. First Light Silver badge

          Re: Semi related

          Durians!! Banned on the Singapore MRT!! For obvious reasons . . .

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Semi related

            I'm double-checking that I'm anonymous here - I cleared out a London tube train with one.

            Sat near the front on a warm day (read: most windows open) and got off of a pretty much empty train 40 minutes later. I noticed after the first three stops the smell had propagated enough to eject most people with a more acute (read: non-parental) sense of smell, and repel new passengers from entering - visibly recoiling the moment the doors opened.

            So yes, I can believe Singapore banned them, and that's a place where they are actually reasonably common.

            As for the reason why: I knew someone who did like them, and it was their birthday. The year after, however, I bought something a lot less fragrant :).

        2. Alan Ferris

          The solution

          Before and after weights will answer the question.

          I'm not offering guidance on how to do this, though

  10. cookieMonster
    Holmes

    Just what is the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow?

    From experience, it seems to directly proportional to the quantity of expensive equipment in the area of said bird(s)

  11. Howard Sway

    I'm only a poor little sparrow

    no colourful feathers have I

    but when you're in your bed

    I'll be in your tech shed

    and I'll shit on your Raspberry Pi

    1. ClockworkOwl
      Alert

      Re: I'm only a poor little sparrow

      Very funny...

      Now how do I make it STOP?

  12. IT's getting kinda boring

    I think you were a victim of seagull management.

    They always pop in, shit all over the place, and then disappear.

    Don't blame the little sparrow.

  13. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Not just sheds, and not just birds

    I have a persistent problem with birds falling down the chimney. It mostly happens in the older part of the house where the flues are straight and quite wide (you can see the sky if you look up them), but it's not unknown in the more conventonal chimneys. When this happens you have a bird that's not only panic-stricken and shitting everywhere, but also covered in soot. Persuading them to leave by an open window, rather than trying to batter through the glass can be trying.

    One night I found a bat in my bedroom. Much more flighty and agile than a bird, and commensurately harder to evict. I've also found a hedgehog in the kitchen and a duck in a room where I'd left the French window open.

    1. ClockworkOwl
      Coat

      Re: Not just sheds, and not just birds

      "and a duck in a room where I'd left the French window open."

      That's not far canard...

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Not just sheds, and not just birds

      Most "fun" bird we have had fly in through open doors (doors facing garden) was a sparrowhawk. Care needed coaxing that out - did not want to get angry / stressed bird sharp & powerful claws or beak near me (not a fan of lacerations & seen the damage they do to other birds)

      1. CuChulainn

        Re: Not just sheds, and not just birds

        I came home from work one sunny Sunday afternoon about five years ago, and as I walked into the kitchen I glanced out of the window and thought a bomb had gone off.

        The garden was covered in feathers.

        Then I saw a bird under a tree at the end, and thought 'that's a mangy-looking pigeon' (I have a thing about pigeons, since we get so many of them hanging around).

        It wasn't a pigeon. It was a buzzard chowing down on a pigeon - hence the feathers everywhere.

        Footnote: didn't see another pigeon for about two months after that.

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: Not just sheds, and not just birds

          Pelican v Pigeon

          St James's Park 2013

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phUs2kIGY9M

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not just sheds, and not just birds

      I live on the top floor of a Victorian house and I would normally leave the top of the sash windows open for cooling during the summer. 3 years ago, when I came home I could hear the occasional fluttering from behind the TV. It turned out to be a swift that had got through the ~3in gap but obviously couldn't find a way out. I couldn't shoo it out of the now fully open window, but managed to bundle it in an old coat and turfed it out onto a flat roof.

      A year later and he (or one of his mates) was back and was again cowering behind the TV... but this time the little sod had left his calling card down the wall (luckily he hadn't crapped anywhere else, although I did spend quite a time checking everywhere, just in case!)

    4. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: Not just sheds, and not just birds

      > problem with birds falling down the chimney

      That's AFAIK a classic. A little chicken wire does the trick, you just need to check from time to time that it isn't getting too dirty, hindering draft.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not just sheds, and not just birds

      Kubla Cant,

      The solution is easy !!!

      You sleep outside .... as most of the wildlife seems to be 'in' your house.

      :)

    6. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Not just sheds, and not just birds

      I've also found a hedgehog in the kitchen and a duck in a room where I'd left the French window open.

      Pfft. Where I grew up this was an opportunistic Sunday dinner.

  14. CuChulainn

    Now Pigeons, On The Other Hand...

    I worked in a very old listed (and listing, actually) building. The department I managed manufactured a range of medicinal products.

    As with many old buildings that can't be physically altered because of the protection order on them, the near-Victorian inner had boxed offices installed with the inevitable suspended ceilings. Problem was the outside had iron-framed windows and copious glass panels from the days when it was important to let natural light in because the alternative would have been oil or gas lamps.

    Unfortunately, much of the glass must have been installed roughly when the building was still new and - as a consequence - a lot of it wasn't entirely there.

    Enter: pigeons. And they did enter, through any gap they could find. When it was quiet, you could hear them cooing and moving around above the suspended ceilings.

    Then, the company decided it had to access the services above the ceilings for a reason I can't remember now. It definitely wasn't to replace the ceiling, though, even though it was showing signs of its age. Something to do with the ducting and wiring.

    When they removed the tiles, it turned out that hundreds of pigeons were actually nesting up there. Their poo was centimetres thick above the tiles, along with feathers and rotting corpses. Naturally the engineers who did it one weekend didn't give a damn about the desks in the offices (one of which was mine) underneath and a lot of this detritus was covering the desks and floors when I came in Monday morning.

    It took weeks to stop itching after that.

    Then another time we discovered maggots on the open air-cooled conveyor that cooked product ran along. It turned out a pigeon had got into the gap between the chimney stack and roof to nest, died, and the maggots that it thus gave rise to found the best way was down - into the manufacturing area.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Now Pigeons, On The Other Hand...

      WISE OLD BIRD:

      My dear old thing, you have such a sympathetic face.

      ARTHUR:

      Is that why you’ve done what you’ve done all over it? I’m sorry, but on my world I had a nice home and a good job with prospects and I get angry at the thought that my life suddenly consists of sitting in sewage filled models of my own ear, being patronised by a lot of demented birds!!!

  15. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
    Linux

    So what you're saying is....

    You've left your windows unsecured and you have a problem with fat birds? (I'm still bitter over the pair of tits deciding our back garden isn't where they want to settle.)

    Generally I'd just get some garden netting and just have it hooked at the top/bottom so you can still operate the window in both the open and closed mode.

    Tux because he's the only bird icon we have.

    1. CuChulainn
      Happy

      Re: So what you're saying is....

      I've got a fruit cage for my Blueberries with netting completely secured absolutely everywhere, and the little sods still manage to get in.

      This morning, one of our pair of garden Robins. And a passing Blue Tit (like yours, they don't actually live here - they just come for my bloody Blueberries). Frankly, I think they know how to open the cage door or something.

      They're welcome anyway.

  16. TimMaher Silver badge
    Coat

    Vulture

    You must already know this, surely?

    It’s El Reg.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Vulture

      Vultures aren't fond of unripe food.

      Carry on.

  17. Jason Hindle Silver badge

    Invest in a snap screen

    We have one of these on the back door:

    https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/snap-screen-white/p/0323987

    Note: If you have cats (or builders), they will destroy it.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The largest of our local supermarkets occasionally had a few sparrows in it during the winter. They were quite good about hopping out of the way of the shopping carts, but never seemed to get the hang of the (covid-era) direction arrows.

  19. xyz Silver badge

    And the sexist answer is...

    The amount of bird shit produced is directly proportional to the volume available. Its like a bird's suitcase, the bigger it is the more shit goes into it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just be glad it's not a squirrel

    Once one of those has decided to get in, you're pretty much done for. Don't think a cat will help - they are no match for a pissed off squirrel, they're seriously ferocious.

    Of course, it doesn't help if you train them as well:

    https://youtu.be/hFZFjoX2cGg

    https://youtu.be/DTvS9lvRxZ8

    :)

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Just be glad it's not a squirrel

      Entertaining link

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. herman Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Shirley skeeter screens will keep birds out too?

    A helicopter, since it is the only airborne icon -->

  23. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    a flock of evil feathered bastards.

    Consider yourself lucky that it wasn't a flock of evil feathered bustards.

  24. AndyFl

    Just what is the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow?

    Not very much but the poop capacity of a fully laden sparrow appears to be considerable :)

    (edit: corrected typo)

  25. PaulVD
    Boffin

    No mention of poop volume, but ...

    Testosterone levels are positively correlated with cloacal bacterial diversity and the relative abundance of Chlamydiae in breeding male rufous-collared sparrows. Camilo Escallón, Matthew H. Becker, Jenifer B. Walke, Roderick V. Jensen, Guy Cormier, Lisa K. Belden, Ignacio T. Moore. Functional Ecology 2016 https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12696

  26. msknight Silver badge
    Pint

    I suggest the scientific approach.

    You weigh the shed, then leave the window open and leave the ruffian to do another round of splatter bombing, and then weigh the shed again. At this point you can subtract one weight from the other and obtain your result.

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: I suggest the scientific approach.

      Well it seems that it will be a shedload of shit.

  27. jake Silver badge

    Two answers to pigeons.

    1) The above mentioned screens. This works, it's inexpensive, it's easy. Just do it.

    2) Pot pie. This also works, but most folks think they are far too civilized to be interested in understanding where food comes from, much less how to procure it.

    As for how much poop the noisy little rats with wings produce ... Computer says GIGO. They'll shit as much as they have to, given available input. With that said, my laying hens produce about 45 pounds of shit each, per year (according to the USDA). They weigh in at about 4.5 pounds each. I assume the Avian GI tract scales nicely, so ... A typical Sparrow (I'm assuming Old World Sparrows) weighs in at about an ounce. By my calculations, that's about seventeen and three quarter grams of poop per year per sparrow. That's just under 50 milligrams per day.

    Shirley an unladen sparrow is one who just took a dump?

    1. msknight Silver badge

      Re: Two answers to pigeons.

      I would hazard a guess that Mr Speed would disagree with your conclusion of 3/4 gram of poop per year after being presented with the carnage in his shed :-) ... having written that, I'm not sure if there was a time scale mentioned in the leaving of the open window, nor a sparrow counter configured for the duration of the shed duress.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Two answers to pigeons.

        That's roughly 17.75g/year, or ~50mg/day.

        Output subject to change according to input, of course. Especially during cotoneaster, pyracantha and boxwood berry seasons.

    2. CuChulainn
      Happy

      Re: Two answers to pigeons.

      I'm surprised no one seems to have Googled this. People have done the maths.

      A 1oz sparrow dumps about 200 times in any given 24 hour period.

      "Two hundred droppings a day equates to 1,400 droppings per week, 5,600 per month and 71,280 droppings per year per single sparrow."

      If a single sparrow dumped 70mg each time (and on my car it looks like more than that), that would be nearly 5kg a year!

      And it's corrosive, able to eat away at concrete and masonry.

    3. CuChulainn
      Happy

      Re: Two answers to pigeons.

      And apparently...

      "A flock of just 100 pigeons can produce up to 4,800 pounds of guano, annually."

      That's about 105kg per bird.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Two answers to pigeons.

        "That's about 105kg per bird."

        That's what we call "litter", it's not just poop, it's also the shavings, straw. shredded paper and whathaveyou at the bottom of the coop that soaks up the poop.

        The combination decomposes into fertilizer quite nicely.

        The strawberries are looking particularly healthy this year.

  28. Morten_T

    "...sure fire repellent techniques..."

    Park a newly washed car near the shed. Works a treat for attracting bird poop here, and I don't even have a shed.

  29. TramVanCollision

    UA 571-C Automated Sentry Guns

    I believe that these are what you need:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQDy-5IQvuU

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