I’ve mentioned before that one of the behaviors about raptors that I pay attention to is them defecating while perched because it often means that the raptor is going to take flight.
Raptors and other birds don’t just defecate while perched though, they will also defecate while they are in flight which is why in my very popular article “So ya think ya want to be a bird photographer?” that:
When photographing birds flying directly over your head be sure to keep your mouth closed as you never know when they might decide to flush out their systems.
Now I have never had a bird defecate on me but I watched a Northern Mockingbird poop on my sister when we were young and found it quite funny. I know she didn’t think it was funny at all. Still, I am careful underneath of birds in flight for a reason. Especially big birds.
Yesterday while photographing birds and swatting blood sucking mosquitoes away from my skin I saw a male Northern Harrier coming my direction and got ready to take images of it in flight. It took me a bit to get ready between swatting a skeeter and turning my limiter back on before I could get my lens out the window so the harrier was quite close at that point.
So just as I focus on the on the bird he decides to defecate in flight and my image shows the Northern Harrier in a post-defecation pose. Not a great photo, the shadows under the bird aren’t wonderful but I like the direct, almost piercing, eye contact and how the harrier pulled its feet up close to its body. When I saw this image on my camera LCD I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
At least the poop didn’t land on my head or worse, my lens.
Life is good. Life is better with a sense of humor.
Alright, I need to go get ready to
feed swat the mosquitoes again.