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Is Your Car a Bird Dew Magnet? A British Study Has Determined What Color Vehicle Birds Prefer!


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.  Nope, this author is not the unfortunate owner of this vehicle. :)

Black is birds' 3rd choice. Nope, this author is not the unfortunate owner of this vehicle. :)

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 Halfords 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 favorite color of vehicle that birds liked to poop on most often, 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 was in 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.

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 complimentary colors and like monochromatic colors 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 save on soap and water!

How to carefully remove bird droppings from your car without damaging the finish.


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


C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 16, 2016:

Paula (Fpherj48), thank you for taking time to read and comment on this article. Glad you enjoyed. I really think humor is the most difficult thing to write and so this was tough for me. Of course the 'study' did what it was intended to -- gave the British car parts stores publicity. Take care . . .

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 10, 2016:

Paul Kuehn, thank you for your encouragement and for the shares. I think humor is one of the hardest things there is to write and this is my best effort. Glad you enjoyed it. I didn't realize geckos could be such a nuisance. :)

Suzie from Carson City on March 08, 2016:

LOL......There's plenty here to laugh about & perk up my morning, especially the comment by diogenes about doing a study on idiotic studies!! I think I'm with him on that.

I thought the red car was a mess until I saw the black car! What a disaster. I admit, this is brand new info to me & being the skeptic I am, I'd have to interview the birds myself, beak to beak. Know what I mean, Au fait?

I have however heard that red cars are "cop magnets." My cousin bought a HOT red car and insisted to me that IT was the reason she's been pulled over & cited. Since I've been a passenger in her car, trust me, the dear woman is in denial! LOL

Thanks for the chuckles. No day is complete without a few! Paula

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on March 07, 2016:

Aufait, I found this hub very interesting and enjoyable. When I lived in the States, I had problems with bird poop on my cars when I parked near or under trees. Since living in Thailand, I haven't had a problem with bird poop. Now I have a problem with gecko poop when parking under a fluorescent light in my car port. I am sharing with HP followers and also Facebook followers.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 29, 2015:

Mary615, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! Thist was my attempt at writing humor, one of the most difficult things there is to write, I think.

The study, as I think I stated in this article, was conducted by a couple of employees (not scientists by any stretch of the imagination) of a well known car parts and service company in England -- Halford's Auto Centres. Sort of England's answer to O'Reilly's or AutoZone.

The employees just took a couple of weekend days and gauged how bad the bird dew was on various cars noting their colors and in fact it was very worthwhile for them. The parts store got all kinds of free, yes FREE publicity that would have cost them hundreds of thousands or more if they'd had to pay for it.

So it was a great little gimmick for them, although that wasn't their intention when they did it. They were just doing it for laughs. It ended up getting their name out there on national television networks as a news story that lots of people listen to rather than commercials that lots of us mute the TV on when they come on.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 28, 2015:

Indian Chef, thank you for reading, voting on, and sharing this article! Glad you enjoyed! Science has improved our lives a lot, but it makes mistakes. How could it not when run by imperfect humans?

I wouldn't bet money on all critters except humans and monkeys being color blind. Science once said all bats are blind and have had to modify that a bit. Only fruit bats have extremely poor eyesight, but thy can see a little bit. The others have sharp eyesight as it turns out.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on June 27, 2015:

I choose to buy a white car because of the heat here in Florida. Wonder how much money was spent to do this research??

I always amazes me when I see researches done on just dumb things. Oh, well....interesting Hub anyway.

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on June 27, 2015:

Interesting, What we studied in biology class was that only Man and monkeys can differentiate colours. My car is white so probably I am not the top one. Loved reading it. Voting up, interesting and sharing

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 06, 2015:

Word55, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. So glad you enjoyed! Blessings to you also . . .

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on May 04, 2015:

Nice write up Au Fait, birds have their favorite colors of cars like we do. This was well researched. Thank you for sharing such an interesting article. God bless!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 04, 2015:

Rebecca, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! Something must have changed besides the color of your car. Previously birds must not have been nesting/roosting near your car and now for some reason they are. That's my best guess. :)

Congrats on getting a new car!

Rebecca on May 04, 2015:

My brand new silver Maxima gets bombed every single day, in the exact same spots.

Thing is, my previous car, a black Altima, was parked in the exact same spot (my driveway) for a year, and NOT ONCE was it bird-bombed!!

So now I have to hose off my car every day, my neighbors probably think I'm obsessed with my new car (which I am, it's brand new off the showroom floor!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 09, 2014:

Thank you for coming by Glenda. Know exactly what you mean with the bird dew covered car. Mine seems to be a favorite too even though it's black. Glad you got a laugh or two out of this!

Glenda Jacks on June 05, 2014:

I thought of you today when I park my car under a tree for only few minutes and when I came back within minutes and holy *rap I had to wash the car. This is too funny.


C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 09, 2013:

Thank you Shyron, for your tireless support, the votes, the share, etc. I agree, mine is funnier. ;) Hope it gave you a laugh or two!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 07, 2013:

Thank you for reading and commenting, Author Cheryl! I'm so glad you saw the humor in this and I'm glad if it gave you a smile or a laugh!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 07, 2013:

Barbara Kay, thank you for stopping by. This entire study was for the purpose of promoting Halford's Auto Centres in the UK, and gave me an exercise in writing humor. I consider humor the most difficult thing to write. I hope you enjoyed it and got a little smile . . .

Cheryl A Whitsett from Jacksonville, Fl on December 01, 2013:

LOL that is too funny. I always used to buy red cars because I loved them and they were the target of bird poop all the time.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on December 01, 2013:

Au fait, when I saw HOTD I thought you were re-publishing this from June of 2012. Yours is funnier and more interesting.

Anyway, very good hub, I am glad you did not republish because this one is better and funnier.

Voted up again, U/F/A/B/I, shared and pinned.

Barbara Badder from USA on December 01, 2013:

One of our vehicles is silver and the other is black. It is kind of strange that birds have a preference.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 29, 2013:

Thank you Peggy W for tweeting this humorous report on birds and their preferences, and for being so creative about it!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 25, 2013:

We can always use some humor each day. For that reason I am going to sing a bird's song...tweet, tweet, tweet! Get it? Consider it tweeted! :)

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 03, 2013:

Thank you sgbrown for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub! Glad you enjoyed and saw the humor in it and appreciate you sharing your experience with red vehicles!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on April 27, 2013:

Of course, what color cars do hubby and I own? Both of them are red! Hubby blames it on me "overfeeding" the birds. Now I will blame him for having a red truck. LOL Cute hub, voting up, interesting and funny!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 21, 2013:

athulnair, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Hope you enjoyed this hub as it was written in fun. ;)

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 20, 2013:

Thank you moonlake for reading and commenting, and for sharing this hub! So glad you enjoyed it as it was meant mainly for entertainment. The science (if there is any) is a bit fuzzy. ;) Expect you are spot on (no pun intended) regarding the washing of one's vehicle!

athulnair from India on April 15, 2013:

Oh god, we have to be careful while buying new car. Has to choose birds non favorite color rather than our favorite.

moonlake from America on April 15, 2013:

All anyone has to do is get their car washed looking nice and shiny and a bird will come along and drop poop on it, no matter what the color. Enjoyed your hub and shared.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 06, 2013:

They sure like my black car. Thanks for commenting, Shyron.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 31, 2013:

Thank you DevorahNeyens for reading and commenting on this hub. Glad you recognized that it was/is full of bird dew and not terribly scientific, but meant I think as a promotional 'study.'

You realize that bird dew matches silver better than green yes? ;) Did you happen to park your green car under a favorite bird roost or nesting tree? Maybe you don't park your silver car in a place like that?

I really think birds aren't that picky about color despite this study's findings. I think they do it out of spite to any car available. Forget trying to bribe the birds with food and water. I've already tried that. ;)

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on March 28, 2013:

I am beginning to think birds like black car, any other color is by accident.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on March 28, 2013:

I think this study is full of crap. I used to have a green car and it got pooped on way more than the silver car I have now. Or maybe I just don't notice it as much. : )

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 12, 2013:

Maybe their birdie bombs just don't show up as well on silver and so they're less noticeable? But it's true that silver is not a preference in the study I wrote about.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 04, 2013:

Queen Hypatia, thank you for stopping by and reading/commenting on this hub. Glad you enjoyed it and that it gave you a smile!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on March 02, 2013:

I think my birds don't like for me to park under the tree in front of my home, and I think it is the male and the female. But come to think of it I think sweetie1 is right, my car is silver and the birds seem to bypass it, with only an once in a while hit.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 02, 2013:

rajan jolly, thank you for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub. Glad you could see the humor. You make a valid point -- female birds may have different opinions from the male birds. Too bad no effort was made to interview the participating birds to see exactly what their opinions are on this highly important issue!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 26, 2013:

This is an amazing result for whatever it is worth. Goes to show birds too like a bit of color in their life. No drab colors for most of them. I just wonder whether the males preferred these bright colored cars or the females. Lol!

Great hub. Very interesting.

Queen Hypatia on February 26, 2013:

This is very funny Au Fait. Meaning no disrespect to people who like green cars, but I think I would prefer one of the other colors even if I must wash the car daily.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 11, 2013:

Sweetie1, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub! Hard to know for sure what animals can see or not since we can't communicate with them very well, but this hub was written to be facetious because the research was decidedly unscientific and intended to be a promotional project for Halford's Auto Centres in theUK. It is not meant to be taken seriously. Hope you enjoyed it and saw the humor.

sweetie1 from India on February 10, 2013:

Very interesting and unique hub. I didn't know the birds can differentiate between colours. I thought only primates can see colour. Our car is silver colour so now I know why birds usually skip our car when they have to relieve themselves.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 27, 2012:

Peggy W, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub! This wasn't a very scientific study nor did it take very long, so I'm not sure many people will take it seriously. I think most of the time where you park your car (under a bird roost) will make more of a difference than anything else. Glad you enjoyed and saw the humor in it! Thanks for the votes and especially the share too!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 26, 2012:

This was not only interesting but funny the way you wrote it. So your bird droppings actually slow down your miles per gallon. Wow! Think I'll have to park far away from your car if we are ever in the same parking lot. Ha! I don't see that many green cars on the road. Perhaps when this goes viral that may change. Up, useful, interesting and funny votes and will share. :))

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 15, 2012:

Brett.Tesol, thank you for sharing, tweeting, & pinning this hub! Glad you enjoyed. I wrote it hoping people would find it funny since there was no real scientific method involved.

Brett C from Asia on December 13, 2012:

Up, funny and interesting! lol. The line "mileage is lowered by at least 5 miles per gallon because of the huge “load” I’m carrying on my car’s exterior" made be laugh!!!!

Shared, tweeted and pinned.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 27, 2012:

Thank you for your insight Shyron. I agree that what you say is probably true for the most part -, except that the parking lot where I live is huge and usually pretty full, yet the birds even seem to pass up the vast selection of red cars available just to birdie bomb mine! That's when I'm out in the middle of the lot and not under a tree.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 26, 2012:

John Merrill: Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Yes, I thought it was funny too, and of course it was extremely unscientific, but who knows? Maybe there really is something to it . . .

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 25, 2012:

Thank you howlermunkey for reading and commenting, and for the follow! Maybe a carport would help . . . ;)

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on June 23, 2012:

I think the change acording to what-ever color I park at the time and if I am under a tree. Usually in the supermarket parking lots, they don't seem to have a preference, they will poop on any car, person, cart, or anything.

Interesting hub.

John Merrill on June 23, 2012:

Thought I'd stop in and see if you'd posted anything new this morning. This is pretty funny. Somebody should do a real study here in the USA to see what colors our birds like best!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 23, 2012:

Thank you 2patricias for reading and commenting on my hub, and for sharing too! It is interesting that a few people can identify with the findings of the 'study.' I wonder if American birds are different from English birds because I could swear the birds over here like my black car better than the red ones that are often parked right next to it. ;)

Jeff Boettner from Tampa, FL on June 22, 2012:

I thought it was my imagination, but being that my truck is red... it all makes sense now.

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on June 22, 2012:

Thank you for this. Pat lives very close to the beach and many of the houses in her road have the misfortune of being frequented by sea gulls.

Oh boy, so you know it when a seagull decides to drop on your car. Yuck and double yuck!

Tricia lives about a mile away from the beach and we always thought it was the distance that made the difference. However, her car is green, so possibly those darn birds simply avoid it.

By the way, in our area we think the most popular car colour is silver. We live near Brighton, which was included in the survey, so this is of particular interest to us. We are sharing this hub!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 22, 2012:

Thank you for reading and commenting Bobby. These researchers were not scientists as many of the reports state. They were just some guys who work for Halford's that normally service cars or work behind their counter and they spent a couple of days counting cars with bird poop on them. Not at all scientific. Expect it's a way for Halfords to get publicity.

I note that some people apparently are taking this hub seriously when it was intended to be funny. After all, who would seriously interview birds? I'm sure they have their opinions, but there seems to be a language barrier . . . (that's meant to be funny too).

Would love to read your hub on idiotic studies. Expect it will be pretty funny too.

Take care . . .

diogenes from UK and Mexico on June 21, 2012:

Hi Misty: That's a real tongue-in-beak article! It didn't occur to the researchers to see what percentage of each color is on the road? I don't believe for a minute birds go out of their way to crap and this and that color.

I'm going to do a study on idiotic studies, and all their faces will be red! Interesting though.


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