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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Everywhere was thick with greenish slime and off-white guano in this great bird slum.
▪ Farther south, the millions of seabirds that normally nourish on the famous guano islands are being decimated.
▪ Fishermen scurry all over the seas catching anchovies; quarrymen have long made a living scraping guano from the bird-rich islands.
▪ High winds and steep rocks make landing hazardous, and the smell of guano deposits can be significant!
▪ It may be the most majestic bird guano in Southern California.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Guano \Gua"no\, n.; pl. Guanos. [Sp. guano, fr. Peruv. huanu dung.] A substance found in great abundance on some coasts or islands frequented by sea fowls, and composed chiefly of their excrement. It is rich in phosphates and ammonia, and is used as a powerful fertilizer.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1600, from Spanish guano "dung," especially of sea-birds on islands off Peru, from Quechua huanu "dung."


n. dung from a sea bird or from a bat.


n. the excrement of sea birds; used as fertilizer

Guano (disambiguation)

Guano is the accumulated excrement of seabirds or bats, often mined as a source of phosphorus.

Guano may also refer to


Guano (via Spanish, ultimately from the Quechua wanu) is the accumulated excrement of seabirds, seals, or cave-dwelling bats. As a manure, guano is a highly effective fertilizer due to its exceptionally high content of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium: nutrients essential for plant growth. The 19th-century guano trade played a pivotal role in the development of modern input-intensive farming practices and inspired the formal human colonization of remote bird islands in many parts of the world. During the twentieth century, guano-producing birds became an important target of conservation programs and influenced the development of environmental consciousness. Today, guano is increasingly sought after by organic farmers.

Usage examples of "guano".

For pumpkins, squashes, cymblins and cucumbers, when it is not particularly desirable to have them early, nothing more is necessary than to prepare the hills with guano.

Upon land limed this year, Guano may be used next, and if mixed with charcoal or plaster, or plowed in and thoroughly incorporated with the soil, especially if it contains a considerable portion of clay, no loss of ammonia will occur, in consequence of the action of the lime.

I see no reason, therefore, why iron, phosphate of lime, sulphur, should not be considered food for man, as much as guano or poudrette for vegetables.

Similar instances of improvement exist in very many examples that can be seen in this portion of our country, resulting from the application of lime, bone and poudrette, as well as from guano.

Both fields were just alike, both plowed and sowed alike, without manure, except 200 lbs of Peruvian guano upon one, and that sure to bring fifteen or twenty bushels to the acre, while the other would not exceed three bushels.

A lot on which 15 bushels was sowed, and dressed with Peruvian guano, was threshed separately, and yielded 301 bushels, or over 20 for one.

I have good reason to expect with a favorable season from the crop now sowed and dressed with guano, a bushel of wheat for every dollar of the prime cost of the farm.

I therefore bought guano, mixed it with its bulk of plaster, then added fine charcoal, the same, and to this mixture double the whole bulk of deposit of the Roanoke river, a rich alluvial earth, and sowed the whole broadcast in February and March, and harrowed it in, on the top of the wheat I sowed at the rate of 200 lbs.

Rolled them down and plowed under and sowed wheat, five pecks to the acre, and made a heavier crop than ever before made on same land, which he attributes entirely to the guano.

Guanoed corn should be sowed in wheat, particularly whenever it has been dressed with a large quantity.

In our climate we can sow wheat on the poorest corn ground late in November and have as fine a crop, and harvest it as soon, as we can obtain from well prepared and fallowed without guano sowed early in the season, For every 100 lbs.

The better the land is kept in tilth, the better will be the effect of an application of guano.

It is well known that unleached ashes, mixed either with guano, sulphate of ammonia, or superphosphate, mutually decompose each other, setting free the ammonia of the guano and sulphate of ammonia, and converting the soluble phosphate of the superphosphate of lime into the insoluble form in which it existed before treatment with sulphuric acid.

Much of the guano of the present day bears about the same relation to genuine old-fashioned guano, as leached ashes do to unleached, or as a ton of manure that has been leached in the barn-yard does to a ton that has been kept under cover.

A pound of nitrogen in the leached guano is not as available or as valuable as a pound of nitrogen in the unleached guano.