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Depending on where you live and where your vehicle resides, you might experience the unusual experience of birds pooping all over the side mirrors and even pecking at them as well. I never thought that this issue existed until I experienced it myself last Summer.
When my truck was parked in Northern California, I never had this experience; maybe the occasional bird poop getting on the car. However, I spent some time in Southern California and every day without fail where I parked the truck, birds would constantly relieve themselves all over the side mirrors. I’d clean up the mess and sure enough the very next day I’d come out to the truck to find the same mess again.
I didn’t understand exactly why the poop would always be all over the side mirrors and not much on the rest of the car. Since I wasn’t willing to sit outside and wait for the birds to come and do their business, I did some research online and found that what was happening was that these birds would see their reflection in the mirrors and believe it to be another bird.
Here’s an example of such a bird in action on this Youtube video. The bird sees its reflection in the mirror (and in other reflective surfaces of the vehicle) and relieves itself all over the vehicle. The side mirrors seem to get targeted because it acts as a nice perch for the bird to stand on.
How to Safely Clean Bird Poop off your Car
Before beginning with any of the methods I propose in this post for preventing birds from pooping on your car, you should immediately clean bird droppings off right away. If left on the vehicle too long, especially sitting under the sun, the uric acid will etch into the clear coat. This will leave a semi-permanent clear coat defect that can only be removed with polishing. For a more in-depth guide to safely cleaning bird poop off your car, see this link.
Use the microfiber towel (with cleaning solution) to wipe the bird droppings off by dragging it up and away from the surface of the vehicle. This effectively pulls the bird droppings away from the paint surface rather than dragging it along the surface. This is why a microfiber towel works so well here; it can hold in contaminants within its fibers while wiping to minimize scratching of the paint. Also always use a new side of the microfiber towel to wipe every time you wipe.
How to Stop Birds from Pooping on and Pecking at your Side Mirrors
I tested several methods out to see what would be most effective at keeping birds from pooping on the side mirrors of a car. These methods also deter birds from pecking at and attacking your side mirrors as well. These are all pretty easy methods to employ, but you’ll have to evaluate your options considering the steps you’d need to take every time you park your vehicle somewhere. Here are the methods I tested and my results from testing each one.
Method 1: Plastic Bag over the Side Mirrors
This is pretty easy to do and does seem to effectively keep birds away from the side mirrors. Since the birds cannot see their reflection in the side mirrors anymore, they are attracted to them. The bag also acts as a physical barrier so bird poo can’t actually get onto the side mirror itself.
As an alternative to using a plastic bag, you could also use a sock which would hold onto the side mirror tight. This is easier than tying the bag and untying the bag every time you park or leave your vehicle.
Method 2: Photo of Bird of Prey in Windows
This was a fun experiment to try out. I’ve seen folks print out a photo of a bird of prey and placing the picture in their window to see if this would deter birds from loitering around the side mirrors. Bird of preys are birds that hunt other animals; in this case I’m using a high definition photo of the American Eagle.
I printed one photo for each side and placed it behind the front windows. If you come up to the side mirror, you can easily see the photo of the eagle in the side mirror reflection.
This method actually worked most of the time. With the occasional bird poop left on the side mirror when using this method, I’d say this was an easier alternative to putting bags over the side mirrors. This definitely doesn’t look as strange as having plastic bags wrapped over your side mirrors. However, it is still a bit of a pain to place into your window every time you leave your vehicle and remove whenever you get back in to drive.
Method 3: Folding in Side Mirrors
If your vehicle has folding side mirrors, then this has got to be the easiest, quickest, and most convenient option. My concern was that it may still not work, but after trying this method, I realize that it was very effective at keeping birds from pooping on them.
Sometimes the easiest and most simple fix is right in front of you the whole time. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how effective this was. This is my go-to for preventing birds from pooping on my side mirrors.
From my experience, I found that folding in your side mirrors is the easiest and quickest way to prevent birds from pooping on the side mirrors and likely to keep them from pecking at them too.
If your vehicle doesn’t have folding side mirrors, then I’d probably recommend using a pair of socks to slide over the side mirrors whenever your vehicle is parked. The alternate options of placing a bird of prey photo inside of the windows or tying a plastic bag over the side mirrors is too cumbersome to follow through with, even if they are mostly effective at preventing birds from pooping on your side mirrors.