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Why Do Birds Always Poop on Certain Cars?

C. E. Clark believes it is her duty and responsibility as a researcher and writer to bring important information to her readers.

Black is birds' 3rd choice

Black is birds' 3rd choice

Do You Feel Targeted by Birds?

Does your vehicle seem to be a bird magnet? Do birds seem to be drawn to your vehicle like moths to a flame? Does it seem as though birds prefer your vehicle over all the others in the parking lot? Or maybe you feel like they have it in for you?

Halford’s Auto Centres in the United Kingdom decided to conduct a survey of sorts to determine if birds have a preference when it comes to which vehicles they drop their birdie bombs onto, or if it is just the luck of the draw—whatever vehicle is available in their moment of need gets the prize.

Turns out that in addition to where a car is parked, under a roosting area for birds, for example, there are other elements that the birds seem to take into consideration.

Does Color Really Matter?

The Halford study wanted to see if birds have a preference as to what color of vehicle they drop their bombs on. If you are in the market for a new car, you may want to keep the results of this study in mind while you are shopping around.

According to Brian Kane reporting for the Broken News Daily, there were 1140 cars included in the study. The cars were located in cities around England, including Brighton, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, and Glasgow. The researchers discovered that color does seem to matter!

Study shows red cars are birds' first choice

Study shows red cars are birds' first choice

What Color Vehicles Do Birds Prefer?

First Choice: Red

The study showed that the pièce de résistance, or, birds' favorite color, is red! 18% of the birds that took part in the study preferred red cars.

Second Choice: Blue

The birds’ second color choice was blue. Of all the colors to choose from, 14% of all participating birds preferred blue vehicles for their targets when red was not available. There was no mention of exactly what shade or hue of blue was most popular.

Third Choice: Black

In third place—wouldn’t you know it—was black. I have to say, if I hadn’t been set straight, I would think black would be first place. Researchers concluded that 11% of birds have a thing for black vehicles.

Since my vehicle is black and I must park under a fish tree for shade from the relentless Texas sun, I would have sworn that black would be in first place. It seems like birds love my car so much that at times my mileage is lowered by at least 5 miles per gallon because of the huge “load” I’m carrying on my car’s exterior.

Even when I park in the middle of the parking lot away from all trees (usually in winter), the birds seem to go out of their way to locate my car. Is that bird love? Yes, I’m sure they recognize it.

There are times when a drywall scraper knife or a putty knife might be helpful in clearing a spot on the windshield so I can find my way, creeping along at low speed to make up for low visibility, to the car wash a mile or so down the road. Even there a scraper of some sort is helpful. A high-pressure water hose shooting hot water and soap can only accomplish so much.

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Fourth Choice: White

The 4th favorite color preferred by birds for targeted vehicles is white. Only 7% of birds like white. Maybe some birds dislike bright or complementary colors and like monochromatic color schemes best.

Fifth Choice: Gray or Silver

The 5th choice of birds in a hurry is gray or silver. These may be the down-to-earth, more pragmatic birds in the flock -- birds that do not feel the need to stand out or show off since gray often camouflages and blends into the surroundings.

The Car Color Least Likely to Get Pooped On

Here it is at last folks, the color birds like least of all, and the color you will no doubt want your next new car to be—drum roll—GREEN! That’s right, only 1% of birds were drawn to green cars to make their deposits.

Did you notice anything strange here? For some reason, the colors yellow, orange, and brown, were not represented. Could it be that birds do not like these colors at all? Or is it simply that there is currently a shortage of vehicles in these colors in the United Kingdom?

So Many Unanswered Questions!

Unfortunately, the researchers did not interview any birds to discover why the first choice of so many of them was/is red. As a result, the question remains; do birds always prefer putting a bulls-eye on red vehicles, figuratively speaking, or was it a fluke influenced by something else in the environment during those days the study was conducted?

Researchers did state that the duration of the study was only two days, but they did not say which two days. What days of the week the study was conducted could conceivably make a difference in the outcome of the study.

Was the study conducted during the week or only on weekends? Might birds have different color preferences during the “business” week than they do on weekends? Might birds have a particular favorite color on Mondays and a different preference on Tuesdays, and so forth? These mysteries remain.

Further, researchers did not say what method was used to reach the study’s conclusions, or what specific kinds of birds participated. Could sparrows have different preferences than starlings or robins?

Frankly, with no answer to so many important questions, the conclusions of the study seem murky and undependable to me. Indeed, the entire affair seems quite undisciplined and therefore unreliable.

Just the same, you can always use the findings of this study to justify owning a green car. You can tell anyone who asks why you purchased a green car, that it was because a British study showed that only 1% of birds prefer pooping on green cars, making a green car more environmentally correct. A green car will not only get better fuel mileage overall because it weighs less, but it will also save on soap and water!

Removing Bird Droppings


Bost, Callie. June 25, 2012. Halfords Study Finds Birds Poop on Red Cars the Most. Business Insider.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 C E Clark

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