Why Do Birds Poop on Cars? — How to Stop the Bomb Drops

Birds are beautiful creatures, with their interesting plumage, unique songs, and awe-inspiring flying capabilities. However, when it comes to cars, birds can be a problem. Birds often poop on cars. They drop their white bombs on them, leaving a mess. Why do birds poop on cars? Surprisingly, they do it for a wide variety of reasons. Let’s take a closer look, including how to stop the bomb drops.

Birds poop more often on cars with specific colors — due to both attraction and fear

Bird poop on a red Volkswagen, highlighting why birds poop on cars and ways to prevent it
Car covered in bird poop | Stefan Jaitner/picture alliance via Getty Images

One of the primary reasons why birds poop on cars is color. Believe it or not, there was a study that looked at the ways that color influences how birds poop on cars. The study, conducted by Halfords, a U.K. automobile accessories dealer, found that birds poop more often on cars with specific colors:

  • Red: Cars with a red color are the most common target of birds since red is the color of some ripened fruits, such as berries. 
  • Blue: Birds often poop on watery surfaces, so a blue car reminds them of a body of water, such as a lake or ocean.
  • Silver: Some birds get scared by things with a silver color, and when afraid, birds often poop.
  • Black: Cars with a black color are typically glossy and reflective, and when seeing their own reflection, birds get scared and poop.
  • White: Some birds are attracted to shiny white cars, while others are scared of them. Either way, the reaction can result in a white bomb drop.
  • Green: The study, as detailed by Thayer Birding and Home Ardent, surprisingly found that birds poop the least on green cars. However, green cars might still be the target of birds since they have the same hue as trees and other vegetation in their natural habitat.

Seeing their reflection causes birds to poop on cars

Bird sees reflection in a car side-view mirror, highlighting why birds poop on cars and ways to stop it
Bird by the side-view mirror of a car | Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

As mentioned, when seeing their reflection on glossy cars, birds get scared and poop. The same result can happen when they see their reflection on the windshield, windows, and side-view mirrors. The side-view mirror mirrors, in particular, are a frequent target of bird poop. Along with a convenient spot to perch, birds can clearly see their reflection in a side-view mirror. 

When seeing their own reflection, birds often mistakenly perceive it as a competing bird. Previously, we covered a hilarious story about a peacock that torments a village in the U.K. The “randy” male peacock head-butts cars, for when he sees his own reflection in the glossy finish, he goes on the attack, thinking that the cars are love rivals.

Birds poop on cars when they are perched on trees, wires, and other elevated spots

Bluebird on a tree branch, highlighting why birds poop on cars and ways to prevent it
Bluebird perched on a tree branch | Matt Brown via Unsplash

Birds seek the vantage point and protection of trees — or use them for nesting. Naturally, birds poop when roosting in a tree, so a car parked below it will receive the brunt of the white bomb drops. Birds also perch on wires, light posts, and the edges of buildings, so the same goes for cars that are parked near them.

Birds poop on cars to mark their territory

Like other animals, birds sometimes use defecation to mark their territory. If your car is parked in the same spot for a long period of time, then a bird might poop on it to claim it as its own. They do this to deter other birds from roosting on your vehicle.

How to prevent birds from pooping on your car

Since a common reason why birds poop on cars is the color of the vehicle, buying a car that is less prone to getting hit by bird poop is an obvious solution. Specifically, not driving a red-colored car. Also, avoiding blue or glossy cars will reduce the chances of a car falling victim to the white bomb drops.

However, changing the color is not a realistic option if you already bought the car. Also, when buying a car, very few people will choose the color based on the likelihood of birds pooping on it.

With that being said, another solution is to park your car in a location that is less prone to bird poop. This includes not parking under trees and cable wires or near buildings and lamp posts. While a tree provides some shade to keep your car cooler during the hot months of summer, don’t be surprised if it’s on the receiving end of bird poop. Also, don’t leave your car parked in the same spot for a long time without moving it. Otherwise, a bird will more likely claim your car as its own and poop on it.

Deterrents to stop birds from pooping on a car

Wide-eyed owl staring ahead, highlighting why birds poop on cars and ways to stop it
Owl | Michael Chambers via Unsplash

Beyond the color and parking location, there are some things that you can do to deter and stop birds from pooping on your car. This includes:

  • Place a car cover over your vehicle.
  • Cover the side-view mirrors with bags and use a sunshade below the windshield so that birds don’t see their reflection.
  • Place a rubber snake on your car’s roof to stop the bird poop. Snakes are natural predators of many birds, so a rubber snake should keep them away from your car. You can also use replicas of other predators, such as an owl, coyote, or fox. Just don’t forget to take the animal replica deterrent off your car before you drive.
  • Do you have some old CDs that you don’t use anymore? Give them a second life. String them together with a fishing line and hang over the parking area where you usually park your car. The reflective surfaces of the CDs will scare the birds away.

Some people view birds pooping on cars as a sign of good luck

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Could you ever have imagined that a discussion of birds pooping on cars could run so deep? We’re not done yet. Some people view bird droppings on a car as a sign of good luck. This superstition dates back to hundreds of years ago when bird droppings on you or any of your belongings were seen as a sign of good fortune. For some, bird poop symbolizes prosperity. The more birds poop on your car — or on you or anything else that you own — the more good fortune and prosperity will come your way

Others take bird poop further in a spiritual direction. When a bird poops on you or your car, some see it as a sign that the universe is taking notice of you — and telling you to avoid the fast lane, slow down, and reflect on your life. 

Seagull standing on the roof of a car, highlighting why birds poop on cars and ways to prevent it
Seagull on a car | Ross Sneddon via Unsplash

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Having said all this, it’s best to do what you can to prevent birds from pooping on your car. And if birds poop on your car, you should clean it off as soon as possible. For one, bird poop contains parasitic disease-causing organisms. Secondly, bird poop also contains uric acid, which can damage the paint of your vehicle.

We can’t fault birds for pooping on our cars, though. They are just following their natural instincts. However, if you take some preventive actions, you can still enjoy the beauty and wonder of birds — without your car falling victim to their bomb drops. 

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