About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mysterious Regurgitated Nuggets Left Behind at Birdfeeder

I live in Arkansas with several acres and forest surrounding my land. I have feeders, platform and others out yearly. I have noticed this past week, several what appeared to be regurgitated balls in the platform feeder. I've never seen this before and it happened just over nite and there were lots of the balls in 2 different feeders. I have so many different varieties of birds, including Carinals, Jay, Titmouse, Hawks, Blue Birds, Finches, Doves, etc. What might this be?? Thank you in advance.

Oh a mystery!

I think what you have is no bird at all but an opossum. Called "Nature's Little Sanitation Engineer,” an opossum’s diet includes all types of bugs and insects as well as rodents, snails, frogs and carrion. The nocturnal opossum is also attracted to neighborhoods by the availability of water, pet food, fruit that has fallen from trees and birdseed.

When they forage at bird feeders for food, they tend to get a mouth full of seeds and chew and chew and chew. After awhile they’ll spit out a dry, compressed seed pellet about the size of an almond.

Photograph of the common opossumImage via Wikipedia
Opossums are fascinating creatures. They are the largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere. Like all marsupials, opossums give birth to tiny, undeveloped young. The embryos develop in the mother's womb for less than two weeks, and then the newborn opossums crawl from the birth canal to the mother's pouch, where they fasten tight to a nipple. They stay there nursing for up to 60 days.

Opossums are usually solitary and nomadic, staying in one area for a few days and then moving to the next. After the babies are weaned they leave the pouch and ride on the momma’s back to each new location.

For more information on opossums go to FAQ on Opossums.

AWWW. How interesting. Thank you so much for the info. I just learn something new everyday in my new country life.
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Anonymous said...

I found these same nuggets in my feeder at work, thanks for solving the mystery.

Anonymous said...

That just solved my mystery too. I tried my wildlife camera but couldn't ever get a photo of the creature.

Anonymous said...

Same here! Thx!