I used to consider myself a nature lover, but that all changed when the crazy poopin’ bird made my car his home.
It all started one summer morning two years ago when I found my car covered with bird droppings. My car had been used by birds for target practice before, but never like this. The sheer amount of stuff was worthy of an entire flock of birds – but I soon discovered it was the work of a just one crazy cardinal.
The cardinal (whom my kids have since nicknamed “Frenzy”) hangs out on my car’s side-view mirror, apparently under the belief that his reflection is another male competing for his space. Rather than peck at the mirror, though, he tries to run off the intruder by regularly marking his territory. A lot.
After putting up with this for a few weeks, I bought a rubber snake and wrapped it around the mirror, hoping to scare him off. The next morning there was no sign of Frenzy’s mischief – success! But it didn’t last. A couple days later he started hanging out on the other mirror. So I put a snake on that mirror, too, thinking that two snakes would send him packing for good.
It didn’t work. The next morning I came out to my car and found that he’d pooped on the snakes.
Then winter came around, and Frenzy disappeared. Months went by, and there was no sign of him. By springtime I’d almost forgotten about him, but he came back with a vengeance. Apparently he’d spent the winter months at a buffet because he was more productive than ever.
So what can I do to get rid of this crazy bird? I know that if I caught my neighbors pooping on my car, I’d shoot them. But I can’t bring myself to harm this bird. He’s simply doing what crazy birds do. I just want him to do it somewhere else, that’s all.
22 thoughts on “Crazy Poopin’ Bird”
Maybe tape up some cardboard or something over the mirrors when the car’s parked to eliminate the reflection. It wouldn’t get rid of him, but it might reduce his desire to mark his territory.
Take photograph of said bird.
Place photograph in picture frame.
Hang pictureframe from tree
If you don’t have a bird bath, buy one. Then beside the bird “bath,” install a tiny little bird “toilet.” You could put a tiny little bird magazine rack with lots of computer programming literature and magazines, and little tiny rolls of toilet paper. Tiny little matches. Tiny little plunger. :) I know this didn’t help, but I couldn’t resist.
Do you live in Ohio? I had the SAME EXACT THING happen to me this summer.
We have friends in Millington that have a dive-bombing cardinal – from sunrise until sunset, they have an almost constant bombardment from the creature as it dive-bombs their kitchen bay window; they only get a reprieve in the spring and summer when the bushes around the window are to thick for it to dive-bomb.
As for your situation, Nick…there’s a reason it’s called “birdshot”, and I’m sure you can’t swing a cat where you are without hitting at least one person that owns a shotgun…:)
Well, if you’re not into the lethal method, you may have to see if you can find a bird expert that can catch it and take it far away to be released.
I would not recommend shooting or killing the bird unless you are not going to tell anyone and you are 100% sure you will not get caught. I have been told stories by a police officer about a neighborhood where one neighbor would feed pigeons and another neighbor who got pigeon droppings all over the car. One day pigeons are dead and the pigeon feeder calls the police. Said pigeon lover notes to police that said pigeons were not pigeons, but were protected doves. On top of that said doves were killed with a small targeting pistol, and firing a gun in city limits is also against the law. Also, hunting out of season is a problem as well. Turns out for killing said doves, he was convicted and sentanced for 30 days. And all this above the objections of the police becuase said dove / pigeon lover insisted on getting charges filed.
Now this is the extreme, and probably won’t happen to you, but this is how far it could go.
Me personally, in the end, after everything else didn’t work, I’d end up using some rat posion in some bird feed on the hood of the car.
Ironically, I had a bird who did that to a window on my house one Spring. The next Spring a bird (dare I say the same bird) did the same thing to my red-neck neighbor’s brand new Ford Mustang — I hope it was instant karma for all the late night Lynard Skynard blaring and early morning unnecessary revving of his engine.
Can you cover the mirrors when you park? Something like a knitted golf club cover might do the trick. You could test the theory with a trashbag and some large rubber bands.
Perhaps you could purchase a car cover? Or park in the garage?
I had to remove a squirrel once because it ate pine cones over the house and driveway, and would THROW the pinecones on the hood of the car causing dents. I borrowed a BB gun, and terminated him. I’d have probably been in trouble if the neighbors found out… but it’s a rodent, right? I felt horrible because he didn’t die immediately, but at that point I was committed so i had to shoot him again so he didn’t suffer. Ugh…
If you can cover the car, it’s a much better option than killing the creature.
you could try
– a plastic owl or falcon.
– a big mirror placed away from the car that it would attack instead
– some kind of battery powered disco lights inside the car that might distract it
– park somewhere else
Hitchcock Got Nothing On This
Nick Bradbury has a nuisance of a visitor in the shape of a bird. A poop-happy bird: I used to consider myself a nature lover, but that all changed when the crazy poopin’ bird made my car his home. It…
Put lots of mirrors around, on “poopable” things. See what happens.
I have no ideas to help you sorry but that story really cheered me up as I have a rotten cold and can’t sleep :(
Har! Poor Nick, ever the nature lover.
But it beats being attacked by our own mongrel Magpies (Australia). Boy those guys can fly fast.
I hate to rain on your parade, but I think you need a new hypothesis to explain why this bird keeps pooping on your car mirror. As far as I know, passerine birds do not use feces to mark territories, or poop to display aggression. These birds poop to eliminate nitrogenous wastes – not make a statement.
So why does this bird poop so much on your mirror? An alternate hypothesis is that the bird poops so much on your car because it spends so much time there. But why?
I seem to remember a story about Narcissus…. Perhaps if you put up enough mirrors the bird would spend all of his time staring his reflection, neglecting to eat, wasting away, and you would have the satisfaction of knowing you were the nemesis that led this tragic bird to an early end.
As a former ornithologist, I think I can answer your question. Both cardinals and robins are well known for this sort of behavior: usually it’s a male bird (in the case of a cardinal, bright red), and it’s a territorial issue: he sees his reflection and thinks it’s another male cardinal so he attacks it and tries to chase it off his territory. The territorial instinct is especially strong in spring (the mating and nesting season), although cardinals can be territorial year round. The simplest solution to the problem is to rub some wet Ivory soap on your side-view mirrors to make them opaque; just wipe off the soap with a damp towel before you need to drive.
The accumulation of poop on your car is probably due to the fact that the cardinal is spending much of his time there, but there’s another possible explanation, too. Is your car parked under a tree? If so, I wouldn’t be surprised if a flock of starlings has taken up roost there and may be pooping on your vehicle en masse. The volume of poop you describe sounds a bit heavy for just one bird. The cardinal may not be the main source of the poop at all, unless you’ve actually caught him in the act of pooping on the car.
My parents have the same issue with a couple of cardinals. They ended up having to cover the mirrors on each of their cars with plastic grocery bags. They have to remove the bags and replace them each time they leave and arrive home. It’s crazy.
“The simplest solution to the problem is to rub some wet Ivory soap on your side-view mirrors to make them opaque; just wipe off the soap with a damp towel before you need to drive.”
Whaaa…. you’re kidding right? Where’s he going to keep this wet soap and damp towel? In the glove compartment?
“Whaaa…. you’re kidding right? Where’s he going to keep this wet soap and damp towel? In the glove compartment?”
Nope, in the house. The car is parked outside the house, right? I’ve used soap on windows that were being attacked by cardinals and it stopped them right away. But really, anything that blocks the reflection will work; you might try putting some cheap mittens on the side-view mirrors and just pulling them off when you need to drive…that might be the easiest solution of all.
get some stretchy material in a tube shape, like a fat sock or a section cut off of stretch pants or sweat pants, and put it over each mirror. if he can’t see himself… no problem (maybe)
fwiw, we too used to have a crazy bird that would sit and peck the ‘other’ bird in our car side mirrors too… every darned morning. luckily he didn’t decice to use the methods yours does. ug
… guess there’s a reason that ‘bird-brain’ isn’t a compliment.
I’m lucky enough to have lots of cardinals around my house, and live in a neighborhood that is majority Volvo, but have yet to suffer an attack (nervously eying the birdfeeder with 2 cardinals at it now, wondering how Tippi Hedron felt…)
However a buddy had something similar happen and came up with a clever solution: He took a bit of semi-stiff plastic, made to cling to glass, and opaqued a side with a permanent marker (make sure to write a word somewhere on the plastic so you can tell which side is unmarked and thus clean enough to cling to the mirror.) One of these for each mirror and they were now uninteresting to birds, and also didn’t attract attention from passerbys.
This worked for a while, but after a few too many times having to scrabble at the passenger side mirror, from the driver’s side, fighting his seatbelt, while stopped at the first light, he decided it was a bit too subtle a solution for him.
The final arrangement? In warm weather he manually flips his side mirrors in against the windows. This is so obvious that when he returns to his car he can’t help but notice his own mirrored reflection on the passenger side, and so reliably undoes this before driving off.
He also plans to someday soon replace the overgrown shrub his local bird nests in year after year and put in something a bit smaller and intentionally less nestable.
It’s CARDINAL season at my house …had enough!!!!
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