Does a goose poop in the sky?

Pax Arcana

The answer, apparently, is “not usually.”

Geese, famous for their copious defecation, are less likely to defecate when they are flying than when they are grazing and walking on the ground, and they tend to empty their cloacas upon takeoff, cutting down on the risk to bystanders, said Laura Erickson, science editor at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Also, she said, geese tend to take off in a direction away from people, and the droppings quickly break up into small packets in the air.

Oh man. My friends in the Society for the Study of Goose Defecation are gonna be sooooo into this.

Aerial Peril [NY Times]

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2 Comments

Filed under science

2 responses to “Does a goose poop in the sky?

  1. Esquire

    If you’ve ever walked through the Fens, you’d be struck by just how much goose crap there is on the ground. So much, in fact, that the only reasonable conclusion is that geese must only crap when earthbound, because there’s no way they have anything left when they go airborne.

    Speaking of animal excretions, check out this story. I’m not surprised by the cigs or the bras, but I was not aware of Iranian demand for bull semen….

  2. Laura Erickson

    There wasn’t room in the article for my entire reply (there’s apparently a word limit to how much people wish to read about goose poop). But if geese are doing longer distance journeys, they do eventually have to go, up there. But they’re high enough and going fast enough that what they shoot up from the air is atomized before it hits the ground.

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