Having a Bird Poop on You Mid-Run: Gross or Good Luck?

Post-run look: Confusion mixed with disgust. Note white stuff.

A few days ago, the pup and I set out to run an easy three miles. We hit the road at about 7 a.m., so not too-too early nor too-too late for the cah-razy summer heat we’ve been having. About a half a mile into the run, while jogging on the sidewalk under some large trees, I felt a big drip hit my shoulder. Despite the fact that it hasn’t really rained here in weeks, in a split-second judgment, I assumed it was just condensation that had collected on the leaves and then fallen off. The fact that it was super warm? Well, that had to be because it’s been so-darn hot, right?


As soon as I—without looking, of course—went to brush it off, I knew it wasn’t water. It was poop. A big ol’ glob of white bird dookie that I now had on my shoulder. Remember, I’m just half a mile into my three-mile run. Sick doesn’t begin to describe it.

So I do the heebie-jeebie this-is-gross dance (note, this is on the same busy street that I face-planted a couple of years ago), and then wipe my hands off on my tank the best I can. I had just started my run, but was far enough from home that I didn’t want to turn back to clean up, so I just kept running, pretending that it hadn’t actually happened. (And being super careful not to touch my hand on any other part of my body, especially my face.)

After another five minutes or so of running, I miraculously forgot about the bird-pooping incident and had a pretty good run. Which brings me to the point of this post (yes, I do have a point—although talking about poop is an easy topic for us): working out—and perhaps running specifically—makes you do some pretty gross things. Susan Lacke’s guest post from last week touched on this for sure (check out No. 4 and 5—so true) and Kristen has discussed it, too, but I think my experience just hammers the point home even more. I mean, I got POOPED ON and just kept going. Yes, I freaked out a bit, but I didn’t cry or roll around in the grass or beg a shop owner to have pity on me and let me use his bathroom to clean up. I just wiped it off best I could, and kept going. Which is both awesome and disconcerting. No?

You tell me: If a bird poops on you during a run, do you run home to clean it up or keep on running? Has this happened to you, too? Would love to hear about what you did. And I know it’s “supposed” to be good luck, but I’m still waiting to win the lottery… —Jenn

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  1. Columbia says:

    OMG that happened to my client this morning. I had her doing a plank and when she got up, a bird came by and pooped on her shoulder. LOL

  2. Sarah says:

    Same thing happened to me a few months ago. I was barely a mile in to a 3 miler! I actually got hit in the face, but luckily most of it was on my sunglasses. I used my shirt to clean up what I could and kept going. So stinkin gross, but I guess not gross enough that it would send me home early from my run. Girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!

  3. Cindy says:

    I was an outdoor lifeguard as a kid so I am pretty immune to bird poop gross out and bee stings. That all changed when I got it in my open mouth on a run. Don’t ask me how the bird managed that. Just be worned it can happen. Anyway I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth and I wasn’t on a long enough run to have brought water so I grabbed a clump of wet grass and put it in my mouth to get the taste then spit it out. Then I went home!!!

    1. Jenn says:

      Cindy — You win. That is the grossest bird poop story yet! You poor thing. I would have done the same! 🙂

      –FBG Jenn