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Mystery Photo

mystery photo-p 011Can you identify this? It measures approximately one inch by one inch. Hint: it was found at the base of a tree. Please respond on the Naturally Curious blog under “comments.” Thank you!

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35 responses

  1. Marilyn

    Looks to me like a fungus growing on rotted wood – so it’s probably something else. Meringue!

    November 12, 2015 at 7:22 am

  2. betsy hawes

    A fungus covered mushroom

    November 12, 2015 at 7:26 am

  3. Chris

    Moldy owl pellet?

    November 12, 2015 at 7:28 am

  4. It looks like pileated woodpecker scat. With the urea and the ant body parts and wood chips

    November 12, 2015 at 7:29 am

  5. Connie lentz

    Owl Pellet

    November 12, 2015 at 7:34 am

  6. Josh Wood

    Looks like a Pileated Woodpecker scat- with a ton of uric acid!

    November 12, 2015 at 7:35 am

  7. Dianne Rochford

    Bird Urine

    November 12, 2015 at 7:52 am

  8. Carole

    My guess is owl pellet, too

    November 12, 2015 at 8:02 am

  9. Alice Pratt

    Some kind of bird poop

    November 12, 2015 at 8:10 am

  10. Angella

    Pileated scat

    November 12, 2015 at 8:34 am

  11. Claudia Kern

    owl pellet!

    November 12, 2015 at 8:41 am

  12. Does kind of look like ant parts, Pileated poop sounds plausible to me (good one!)

    November 12, 2015 at 8:41 am

  13. Ellie Daley

    OI think it’s an owl pellet.

    November 12, 2015 at 8:55 am

  14. My best guess is an owl pellet as well…
    On my past guesses, I have been fooled more than once on those close up macro shots!
    Your hint with the dimension & its location is a little more helpful this time around, however,
    I have been wrong before, as in most cases… :~)
    BF @ WGF Studio53

    November 12, 2015 at 8:55 am

  15. Fungus

    November 12, 2015 at 8:57 am

  16. Lucy Hull


    November 12, 2015 at 9:18 am

  17. I did peek at others’ guesses. Learned what Pileated Woodpecker poop looks like, even if this isn’t an example!

    November 12, 2015 at 9:25 am

  18. I’ll go with the pileated woodpecker scat, with those wood chips included in the clump. Is it fungus wrapping it all?
    I spent about half an hour watching, from a window, as a pileated worked on a rotting log on the ground about 20 feet away, energetically pecking, flinging wood bits, looking around, pecking again… Later when I went out to examine the log, I found part of it was that remarkable blue-green color that you wrote about several weeks ago, which I now know comes from the green stain fungi. The cool thing was that I could see how far s/he had flung the discarded pieces of rotting wood – I found blue-green chunks more than two yards from the log. I didn’t think to look for any woodpecker poop, though…

    November 12, 2015 at 9:50 am

  19. Kathy

    Looks like something related to Pileated woodpecker, but it appears, from others’ comments and the subsequent responses, that it is not scat. I have seen pileated scat and this doesn’t look like it, but the wood chip and ant parts suggest something related to the pileated woodpecker.

    November 12, 2015 at 9:52 am

  20. I’m pretty sure its an aborted entoloma, which is either an entoloma mushroom parasitized by the honey mushroom (Armillaria) or a honey mushroom parasitized by an entoloma. Sources disagree about which it is. They look like flattened marshmallows and inside is pinkish.

    November 12, 2015 at 9:55 am

  21. Lucy

    Woodpecker poop!

    November 12, 2015 at 10:19 am

  22. Fungal something or other…

    November 12, 2015 at 10:22 am

  23. Pat Nelson

    Maybe a big blob of tree sap with some insects (hornets?) stuck in it. (I can’t make out the black part at upper right very well.)

    November 12, 2015 at 10:40 am

  24. Kate

    Moldy scat?

    November 12, 2015 at 11:36 am


    Hi Mary, My email program, for some unexplainable reason, doesn’t show your photos, just a box with the photo title and a red ‘x’. So I have been clicking on the box, which usually opens the photo on a web page. For the last couple days, this hasn’t been working for me; nothing happens when I click on the box, and I instead have to open your web page. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but takes longer. Has something changed about your photo tags? Love your posts! Thanks, Kat

    November 12, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    • Hi Kat,
      I’m so sorry to hear you’re having trouble with my blog posts. I’m afraid WordPress has total control over that end of things – I just write and paste a photo and they deliver it to everyone on their list of recipients. Have you tried shutting down your subscription and starting from scratch, signing up for it again?

      November 12, 2015 at 2:27 pm

  26. Pileated woodpecker guano?

    November 12, 2015 at 12:43 pm

  27. Brad

    With what look like carpenter ant parts and wood chips mixed in, I’d say that looks like a pileated woodpecker dropping, maybe with a slime mold covering it?

    November 12, 2015 at 1:46 pm

  28. PEG

    a lump of pine sap that dripped from a wound

    November 12, 2015 at 4:59 pm

  29. Ellie Daley

    Probably a polypore fungus-perhaps the ‘white Cheese Polypore in the tyromyces family

    November 12, 2015 at 5:13 pm

  30. Suza

    I’m guessing some kind of fungus…? But I’m no expert, so I could be completely wrong.
    Is there a fungus among us? 😉

    November 12, 2015 at 6:31 pm

  31. ruthie ireland

    Red-tailed Hawk poop

    November 12, 2015 at 8:17 pm

  32. Jean Harrison


    November 12, 2015 at 11:11 pm

  33. Lisa Wilson

    Marshmallow Fluff ready for harvest.

    November 13, 2015 at 10:15 am

  34. The kids in my first grade class think it is most likely some kind of scat/guano. They are all eagerly waiting to find out!

    November 17, 2015 at 7:07 am

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