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Who Pooped on the Dingus?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Most of the time, all you find is clues. Found this pellet atop a haybale. It's what a cardinal looks like when it's snatched in the night, swallowed and pulverized, thoroughly digested. This is what's left. 

Screech-owls like cardinals. 

I've had some screech-owls in my care, with varying rates of success. Some of them make it, and some of them don't. Nothing good happens when a screech-owl meets a car headlight or grille.

But the thing is to keep trying. I was worried about this one, but with expert care at the Ohio Wildlife Center, he got his eyesight back and I got to release him on a peeper-loud spring night, got to watch him beat his beautiful wings and fly to the top of a tree, then look around fiercely at the very place he'd been found hit. He was home, and he was good to go.

That was the best. 

Then there was this little character, who thought it would be a good idea to roost in a load of steel pipe somewhere on an oilfield lot in Texas, and woke up in a parking lot in Marietta two days later, dehydrated, freezing cold and hungry. Fed him up on white-footed mice and let him go on our sanctuary. Best I could do, since I didn't know where he'd come from.  All these owls have made cameos on this blog over the years. I'm just too busy to go hunt up the links. That's what the search box is for!

There have been a couple of lost babies, which thanks to summer festival travel commitments, I had to pawn off on OWC. But I got to feed them in between. 

Yep, that's a big blob of owl poop on my stomach. Perc of the job. 

 I think my favorite of them all was the wild red-morph that Phoebe spotted, perched just off our driveway one winter night, and took me out to see. She led me through the dark yard by my hand. Turned on the flashlight. There he was!! I brought my big rig and got exactly two shots as she held the flashlight on him. He never budged. One was blurry, and one was this. THIS.

All of which is an amusing way to say I knows screech-owl poop when I sees it. 

I was unpacking my Subaru of tons of original art, books, road snacks and clothes on December 11, having just returned from a superfun book tour in CT, MA and RI. Down by the back door, there stands this adorable, odd little lawn sculpture. I call it the Dingus. It was made by our friend, Lower Salem artist, jeweler and sculptor Mike Trembly.  It was an impulse buy, and I'm so glad I bought it. It makes me smile. Today, it made me gasp.

I did a double-take when I spotted the puddle of whitewash on its base. I knew right then that there had been a screech-owl a settin' on the finial.

By Dec. 26, he'd been back several times.  Who pooped on the Dingus? 

I chortled with joy each time I found a new sploot. He was making a real mess of the Dingus! I could just see him sitting up there, hoping a mouse would run underneath, never suspecting there might be an owl atop the dingus. No one expects an owl atop the Dingus!! Boom!

Except the Science Chimp, and Corey and Phoebe. We wuz gonna find out, because we are all card-carrying Science Chimps. Phoebe and Corey, headed for Silverback status. Corey got here Dec. 28, only two days after this splootfest, and he had that trailcam set up practically before he got out of the car. He set it to Video, let it run for a night, and brought the card in, all excited, only to find that we couldn't open the videos on any of our Macs, new or old. Incompatible format. D'oh!!!

Phoebe was undaunted. She took it to the Bird Watcher's Digest office and uploaded the videos onto her aunt's PC, then did some kind of hocus pocus to get them onto her Macbook Air. And she brought that laptop home and plopped it in front of me. And being a master of short film, she made a little video of what happened next. 

This is what I saw. Which will help explain my extreme excitement, captured in Zick Reaction, just below. I put a little of Corey and Bill's KitchenMusic in the background just for fun. It seems to capture the joy.

This is another video of him just a settin' there. At one point he turns his head, and those eyes light up the night. And I scream again.

 You're going to have to forgive me, and, as always when dealing with an excitable Science Chimp, turn your sound down. Because I am definitely NSFW (not safe for work).

Her Daughter Sets a Laptop in Front of Her. You Won't Believe What This Mom Does Next!

And it just doesn't get any better than that. Thank you once again, Corey, for the music and the videos.  Thank you, Phoebe and Liam, for lighting up my life and switchboard, every day. And thank you, Owl, for poopin' on the Dingus.


Pure joy on this snowy Sunday morning. Great images all. Thanks! Kim in PA

SO funny... SO perfect... SO wonderful!


It wasn't me, I swear!! LOL. What a great post. I love seeing all the lucky owls who cross paths with you.

What a wonderful co-operative effort. Technology captures the mystery Owl! Such happiness is enjoyable to watch.

Poopin' on the dingus -- if that's not a song title, I don't know what is.

"DAMMIT!" isn't all THAT NSFW!

And now I have "Poopin' on the dingus, goin' down down down, poopin' on the dingus, WHOOP! about to slip down" going through my head.

You all make life in the Age of Darkness a little bit brighter!

You have brighten up a very gloomy week! Appreciate you and your talented family for sharing!!!

I have been noticing big poops on the trunk and base of a (95 foot)Hemlock in my yard. Not being a scatologist like some I could name I have just been watching to see what I can see. I do have lots of crows and have had Screechers in the past...


I think "Who Pooped on the Dingus" may just be the next big hit from The Storm Crows.

(When I saw the title, I did a double-take, thinking that I had clicked on Murr's blog instead of yours.)

Posted by Anonymous January 29, 2017 at 5:33 PM

OK, you probably said this somewhere, but how did you know what kind of owl was sitting on dingus before you saw the video? Wonderful!

@ Travel Carol, I knew by the diminutive size of the sploot that a screech owl was responsible.

@mimimanderly, Rain Crows could be Sturm und Drang Crows, too.

@R.Powers, it's not so much the poop as the pooper I'm all philiated about.

@MurrBrewster, I love that song.

What a delight!! So good to see YOU in the video LOL and slappin' your knee. Good stuff.

Best and purest laugh I've had all week at your reaction. There hasn't been much sheer joy in anyone's lives I know just now, and I'm so glad you had some. (And, needless to say, that Corey is a keeper. Sometime, you will have to consider a book-length treatment of your/Bill of the Birds' and the Husics' secrets of child rearing. The world needs it.)

The intensity of your owl-related joy is utterly delightful, Julie. What a great post and set of reaction videos!!

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