Is Bird Poop Good Luck? A Look into the Myth and its Origins

Is Bird Poop Good Luck? A Look into the Myth and its Origins

Key takeaways

  • Many cultures, originating possibly from Russia, view bird poop as a symbol of good luck.
  • The superstition is embraced in global pop culture, from movies to celebrity treatments.
  • Scientifically, bird poop combines uric acid and faeces, with notable use as fertilizer in guano.
  • This light-hearted belief highlights humanity's penchant for finding positive meanings in random events.

There's more to discover. Continue scrolling for the full article below.

If you’ve ever been pooped on by a bird (and there’s a fair chance you have), you probably weren’t very happy about it. Ironically, this minor misfortune is actually seen as good luck by many people, so you might want to change the way you think about the experience!

In this article, we’ll dive into the common belief that bird poop is good luck, so read along for a light-hearted look at the messy side of the bird world.

Origins of the Belief

Whether they’re seen as a symbol of peace like a Dove, or an omen of death like the Owl, birds feature prominently in human tradition and superstition. Their beauty, mystery, and graceful flight have fascinated us for millennia with multitudes of beliefs and myths known from cultures all over the world.

It is said that the lucky bird poop belief has its origins in Russia. According to this superstition, good luck and financial fortune may come your way if a bird poops on you or your vehicle. Perhaps the reason for this myth is that the odds of being pooped on at any given time are so low.

Variations in Different Cultures

While the exact origin of the myth is elusive, it may be comforting to know that so many of us have been blessed. Birds live all over the world, and the superstition that bird poop brings luck is not limited to Russian culture. In fact, this belief is held by individuals from many religions and cultures. In Turkey, for example, being pooped on by a bird means one thing - buy a lottery ticket!

In some cultures being pooped on by a bird is believed to be good luck!

In some cultures being pooped on by a bird is believed to be good luck!

Psychological Perspective

The world can be a pretty cold, tough place without a little superstition to spice things up, and sometimes, this tendency can blossom into some pretty strange beliefs! All through history, humans have held onto some surprisingly radical views, often resulting in actions and even eras we’d rather forget. However, this particular belief is an interesting exception.

The widespread superstition that a well-aimed bird brings good luck is both harmless and even uplifting. To look at something that could easily be annoying or even upsetting in a positive light is something we could all strive for, even if it is pretty absurd!

From "Mess" to "Message"

So is there any factual basis for the belief that bird poop brings good luck? Well, there is a report of someone from New Zealand winning a healthy sum from a lottery scratch card after being pooped on, although, to be fair, many people have had good luck without the benefit of bird droppings!

While many people swear that being pooped on by a bird is good luck, there is no way to prove or disprove this popular belief. However, if you’re expecting some good luck after being pooped on, it probably won’t seem like a coincidence if something lucky does happen.

Even though it happens every day all over the world, the chances of getting pooped on by that bird flying overhead are really very low. Considering the odds, it’s pretty understandable for the ‘lucky victim’ to feel like they’ve been chosen by a higher power.

Canada Goose in-flight. The chances of getting pooped on by that bird flying overhead are really very low

Canada Goose in-flight. The chances of getting pooped on by that bird flying overhead are really very low

Bird Poop in Modern Media and Pop Culture

We’ve seen bird poop in many movies, ranging from the 1977 classic ‘High Anxiety’ to the comedy ‘Scary Movie 2’. More recently, Julia Roberts used bird poop as a beauty treatment in the 2012 fantasy film, ‘Mirror Mirror’, and you may be surprised to learn that some well-known celebrities genuinely do use bird-poop facials to treat their skin!

However, birds occasionally land direct hits during live television too. From professional footballers and golfers to news reporters, it seems like anyone could receive their own dose of good luck.

Scientific Perspective on Bird Poop

You’ve no doubt noticed that bird poop looks very different from mammal waste. It typically contains a white and brown/green component in varying quantities, and there’s a pretty simple reason for this.

Unlike mammals, our feathered friends excrete both nitrogenous waste and faeces from the same opening, technically known as the cloaca. The white portion of bird poop is uric acid ( the bird equivalent of urine), and the darker parts are their faeces.

Technically, there’s nothing special about bird poop that could explain why it may or may not improve your fortune. Biologically speaking, bird droppings are simply the indigestible and toxic remains of their food!

Practically speaking, bird poop has its pros and cons. On the plus side, guano (seabird droppings) makes an excellent fertilizer and has been harvested for centuries for just this reason. However, bird droppings are also unsightly and can contain harmful bacteria and fungi.

How to React When a Bird "Blesses" You

If you ever get pooped on by a bird, take it with good grace and a smile. Birds are all around us, and well, these things happen! True enough, bird faeces can carry various nasty ‘bugs,’ but there’s very little chance of any ill effects if you simply wash off the mess with soap and water.

Whether you’re superstitious or not, you’d probably agree that there’s always room for more luck. Why not take the chance to appreciate the positives in your life and all the things that could go wrong but just don’t? Whether it has anything to do with the offending bird or not, it’s good to feel blessed!

European Shag. Unlike mammals, our feathered friends excrete both nitrogenous waste and feces from the same opening, technically known as the cloaca

European Shag. Unlike mammals, our feathered friends excrete both nitrogenous waste and feces from the same opening, technically known as the cloaca

FAQs

Are certain birds considered luckier than others?

The belief that being pooped on by a bird brings luck is not usually limited to specific species. However, some birds are just considered luckier than others. Doves, for example, are typically seen as symbols of love and peace, while Crow symbolism may represent more negative feelings.

Is there any real danger from getting pooped on by a bird?

There is little real danger in getting pooped on by a bird, although anything is possible. Bird droppings pose little risk of infection if they make brief contact with your skin, hair, or clothes. However, contact with an open wound or a mucous membrane like your mouth could have a higher risk of causing problems. While pretty unlikely, it’s also possible that you could fall or lose control of a vehicle out of fright or if you were blinded.

What can bird poop do to your hair?

Apart from looking funny, bird poop is unlikely to cause any serious damage to your hair. Of course, you’ll want to rinse off your gift from above as soon as possible.

Is it OK to touch bird poop?

It’s best to avoid touching bird poop because there is a small risk of contracting an infection. However, sometimes we need to roll up our sleeves and clean the car or affected garden furniture. Wash your hands afterward or wear gloves if you need to clean bird droppings.

Summary

The widespread belief that bird poop brings good luck probably highlights a lot more about the fascinating way we perceive the world around us than anything about actual bird droppings. Still, there’s little harm in such a light-hearted superstition, and it might just brighten your day if you ever find yourself the target of a mischievous bird.

Whether you believe being pooped on by a bird brings good fortune or not, there’s a pretty good chance it’ll happen to you at some stage of your life. The best we can really hope for is a Sparrow rather than a seagull!

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