Faex Avium

I have always been fascinated by poo – the processes of its becoming, its powers to encourage life, and the endless jokes about the subject told by four-year-old boys, and by those boys who have not left their childhoods entirely behind. Over the years, I’ve also enjoyed reading about poo. Some of my favourite books have been Nicola Davies’ Poop: A Natural History of the UnmentionableJosh Richman & Anish Sheth’s What’s Your Poo Telling You?, Susan Goodman’s Truth about Poopand Jeannette Rowe’s Whose Poo? (There are more titles here for those wanting to follow up this line of research). Then, sometime in 2016, I noticed that a friend of mine started posting the occasional photo of bird poo on her Facebook feed. I was immediately struck by them. They spoke to me of simplicity, of randomness, of good humour, and of temporality. They highlighted again for me the enormous disparity between my own environmental footprint and that of other creatures. They also invited me to better notice a part of my everyday landscape, especially things like footpaths, objects that are otherwise quite uninteresting. Captured, I started doing the same – taking photos of bird poo. For a few weeks or so, it became something of an obsession, one that resulted in missed trains and lateness to meetings, interesting discussions with curious onlookers wondering what the Methuselah I was doing with my phone so close to the ground, and much amusement with children. It’s been fun. While beauty may well be in the eye of the beholder, joy should be shared. So, below are some of the images I’ve captured, shared in the hope that others may enjoy them too, or at least get a good giggle out of one or two of them.