All car owners reckon that one of the worst things that could happen when they park their cars in an open-air car park is to find bird droppings on their car. If these droppings are not cleaned immediately, they could damage the car's body paint and it could be rather expensive for the owners to repair the damaged paint work.
A new research has revealed that the colour of your car could attract more of these birds to relief themselves on your car. Yeah, I know it sounds a little ludicrous but it is just a study that records the frequency of bird droppings based on the colour of the car. Let us see what this study has revealed.
United Kingdom online retailer, Halfords, has conducted a research on the above mentioned subject. The sample included 1,140 cars in Brighton, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Bristol, although there's no indication as to the total number of each car colour in the group.
Bright red cars attract more bird droppings than vehicles of any other colour; green cars were found to suffer the least, followed by silver, while white vehicles escaped more often than black.
During the study, drivers were also asked how quickly they removed droppings from their cars. Only 17 per cent, one in six, said they wiped off deposits immediately when they saw them, 20 per cent said they took action "within a couple of days" while 55 per cent waited until the next car wash. The remaining 8 per cent never washed their cars or left it to others to organise.
As well as being unsightly, insurance industry figures show bird droppings on vehicles can be an expensive problem and estimate the damage caused by bird-poop-stained paintwork costs motorists £57m a year in unnecessary repairs.
Halfords car cleaning expert David Howells said: "This research does have a serious side because the problem annoys drivers, causes damaged paintwork and affects the value of vehicles. To protect your bodywork from damage, droppings should be carefully cleaned off as soon as possible."
Theories abound on motoring and social networking websites as to why birds are attracted to pooping on some cars more than others. A Lexus driver reckoned newly polished cars suffer because birds see 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 depends where you park and a Mercedes driver said blue was the worst as it reminded birds of water.
Others thought birds saw red as a danger or birds went for similar colours to their own plumage, such as in seaside resorts seagulls went for white cars, while in cities pigeons go for grey. The Halfords' study found little difference between cities and the seaside in the colours that specific species of birds apparently aim for.
Researchers who compiled the results found 18% of red cars were marked with droppings, blue 14%, black 11%, white 7%, grey/silver 3%, and green 1%.
Leading car polish experts Autoglym said the damage to vehicle paintwork arose not from the acid or alkali in bird droppings, but from paint lacquer softening and expanding to form an uneven mould around the dropping which produced a dull patch.
Grainier textures from seed eating birds produced the most blemishes, so pigeons are worse for motorists than seagulls. Autoglym says that bird dropping damage can only be prevented by owners removing the poop as soon as possible.
The British Trust for Ornithology was more circumspect on the role of colour in the "drop zone" for birds. "We do know that birds can be attracted to certain colours during display but it (droppings on cars) is probably more to do with where you park; if you park where birds roosts, then you are going to get more droppings on your vehicle," said a spokesperson.
"Leading car polish experts Autoglym said the damage to vehicle paintwork arose not from the acid or alkali in bird droppings, but from paint lacquer softening and expanding to form an uneven mould around the dropping which produced a dull patch."
So... my question here is... How does the lacquer gets softened in the first place?