The car colours birds poop on most

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IOL mot pic jun22 Bird Droppings on Car 1

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Bird droppings quickly soften the clear coat on the paint finish and leach out the colour, leaving a dull, permanently faded spot.

A popular superstition says that green cars are unlucky; many car enthusiasts believe that, mile for mile, green cars have more accidents than other colours, irrespective of make or model.

In one respect, however, green cars are lucky: generally, the bluebird of happiness leaves them alone.

And now for your useless bit of information for the day: In a recent survey of 1140 cars parked in five cities around the UK - in Brighton, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Bristol - over two consecutive days, researchers recorded the frequency with which birds left their dropping on cars of various colours.

And it turned out that green cars had the lowest percentage of direct hits, followed by silver, while black cars were targeted more than white ones, and the highest percentage of splattered cars were red ones.

BY THE NUMBERS

Eighteen percent of red cars got pooped on, blue 14 per cent, black 11 per cent, white seven per cent and grey or silver three per cent, while only one in a hundred green cars got guano-bombed.

There were almost as many theories as there were respondents to the survey, as to why one colour of car should be more attractive to birds with an urge to splurge.

A Lexus driver reckoned newly-polished cars suffered because birds saw a reflection of themselves. A Ford Focus owner agreed and said the darker the colour, the deeper the reflection, and the more violent the reaction. An Alfa Romeo owner said it depended where you parked and a Mercedes driver thought blue was the worst as it reminded birds of water.

Others thought birds saw red as a danger, or that birds went for colours similar to their own plumage, saying seagulls in seaside resorts went for white cars, while in cities pigeons would target grey vehicles.

PIGEON POO WORSE THAN SEAGULL SPLAT

However, the study found little difference between coastal and inland cities - except that, because pigeons eat mainly seeds, their faeces are grainier in texture than those of marine avians, so pigeon poo is even worse for your car than seagull splat.

The British Trust for Ornithology was more circumspect on the role of colour in the “drop zone” for birds.

A spokesman said: “We do know that birds can be attracted to certain colours during display but droppings on cars is probably more to do with where you park; if you park where birds roost, then you are going to get more droppings on your vehicle.”

Car-care experts say bird droppings quickly soften the clear coat on your car's paint finish and leach out the colour, leaving a dull, permanently faded spot. They advise that you remove bird droppings as soon as possible - definitely before they dry out, because by then the damage is usually done - using a soft damp cloth.

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