Bird Bombs Away

Bird House

In honor of the Orange Bird, who was recently returned to his home in Adventureland, and in celebration of Animal Kingdom’s birthday, today I want to talk about birds.

I hate them.

They’re loud and disease-ridden, and my dog is always rolling in their carcasses, forcing me to give him a bath more frequently than I’d like. The apiaries in Animal Kingdom make me nervous, but I always make sure to walk quickly through them. No running. Running might make the birds angry.

Bird House
Jungle Trek Bird House

I’ve been working on it. Two years ago, I watched with delight as a robin built a nest on our porch and incubated her eggs before my eyes. And, this past December, I took a slower-than-usual walk through the aviary on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.

In fact, my husband and I were moving so slowly that we stopped to appreciate some of the colorful fish swimming in a pond. And that’s when it happened: a bird dropped a bomb directly on my shoulder. It was one of those moments where you take a deep breath, turn to your spouse and say, “Is this real life?”

It was.

Rob flagged down a cast member, who quickly ushered me to a bathroom as she thanked me for remaining calm. According to her, this kind of thing is more common than you’d think.  Usually, guests scream or cry or otherwise freak out.

Which leads us to the useful part of this blog post: there are ‘hidden’ bathrooms in both Pangani and Maharajah Jungle Trek where you can sneak off to pee or clean yourself up when you’ve become a little too close with your feathered friends.

Aviary sign in the Jungle Trek

In Pangani, the bathroom is conveniently located at the very end of the bird sanctuary. As you’re about to walk into the Hippopotamus House, you’ll see a little path blocked with a rope—the bathroom is right down that path. It’s the perfect place to clean up.

In the Jungle Trek, you’ll find a bathroom on your right down a little path, just after you exit the bat enclosure. It requires a fair bit of backtracking from the birds, but it works in a pinch. (And if anyone knows about a closer bathroom in Asia, let me know.)

So now that you know WHERE you’ll be cleaning up, let’s move on to HOW you’ll be cleaning up. When that bird let loose, I was wearing my favorite Figment tee-shirt, and I was convinced that it was destroyed forever. Luckily, my husband is something of a Poo MacGyver, and he has a three-step process for removing droppings with limited means.

Rob’s Three-Step Process:

  1. Using a lightly-dampened paper towel, gently swipe away any particulate matter. Then, dab gently to soak up any liquid.
  2. Using a moist and soapy paper towel, scrub vigorously. You’ll know that you’re scrubbing hard enough when little pearls of paper towel are left behind. Continue until the stain is gone.
  3. Repeat vigorous scrubbing with a dry paper towel until the area is only lightly damp and most of the pearls of paper towel are gone.

This method works best on cotton and cotton-blends and can be deployed on ketchup as well as other non-fat-based food stains. So wad up those paper towels and get to work.

And just be thankful that hippos can’t fly.

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