Study Shows That Birds Leave Droppings on Cars Because of Color, Mirrors, and Territory

We’ve all had that moment when you take your freshly washed and waxed car out for a drive, and out of nowhere you’ll hear a quick and sudden splat! Immediately you know exactly what just happened: a bird decided to leave its business on your vehicle for you to clean up.

According to a study conducted by Halfords, a UK auto accessories dealer, birds can choose to decide to leave droppings on certain colored cars based on attraction and fear:

  • Red: The most common target of birds because red is the same color as fruits and berries that birds are fond of. Thus, marking their territory.
  • Blue: Birds are fond of leaving droppings on watery surfaces. So a blue car could be mistaken for a body of water like a lake, pond, river, or ocean.
  • Silver: Some birds are frightened by silver-colored things. As a result, leavings droppings can be part of a bird’s literal flight response.
  • Black: Black cars are often reflective and glossy enough for a bird to see its own reflection. This could result in a bird confusing its reflection for another bird, hence the droppings.
  • White: depending on the species, some are attracted to white cars while others are frightened by them. Thankfully the silver lining in birds leaving their business on a while car is that it’s not as obvious as black and cars with darker colors.
  • Green: Birds avoid green cars the least because it is the same color as trees, grass, and other plants found in their habitat. Of course, this doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

As mentioned above, birds seeing their own reflections can cause them to leave droppings. That includes seeing them on windshields, windows, reflective panels, and side-view mirrors.

Birds will often confuse their own reflections for competing birds. So on top of droppings, you might also find small pecks and scratches on your rear-view mirrors from birds that mistake themselves for potential rivals.

Lastly, birds, like many other animals will defecate as a means to mark their territory. So if your vehicle is parked in the same spot for a long time, a local bird may decide that your car will suddenly belong to them. Thereby deterring other birds from roaming on its turf.

If you find yourself a frequent victim of bird business, here are some useful tactics to prevent your vehicle from being a target:

  • Keep a car cover over your vehicle
  • Cover your side-view mirrors with bags and use a sunshade under your windshield to prevent birds from seeing their reflections.
  • Keep a fake predator nearby (snake, owl, coyote) to frighten birds away.

Alternatively, you could disregard these tips entirely because it has been said that bird droppings on your car are a sign of good luck.

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