NORFOLK, Va. — The cascading greenery lines both side of College Place, a street tucked in the Freemason neighborhood of Norfolk.

Between tree branches, night herons are raising their young. It’s nesting season, and they’re unloading problems onto the humans who live below.

It’s an issue neighbors like Lisa Mayes witness every year during the summer.

“At any minute it’s raining poop. It’s literally raining poop,” said Mayes.

“I have parked and literally gone into my house for five or 10 minutes, come out and… disaster. The sound is ‘Splat.’ I know a little bird may poop on your shoulder, but no, this is like someone taking a bucket.”

The bird droppings resemble large splotches of white paint. Cars parked underneath become caked with layers of it, making windshields unrecognizable.

Kent Abney recently moved into the neighborhood from Colorado and the birds have welcomed him with multiple loads. On Friday, his red pickup truck was covered in droppings.

“They bomb the cars daily,” said Abney. “This is the first time that I’ve ever seen anything like this.”

Mayes said the problem has become so bad, she parks her car several blocks away to avoid another trip to the car wash.

A parked truck on College Place is covered in bird poop.
Lisa Mayes

The poop isn't the only problem; herons feed on eat seafood, and that comes raining down, too.

It leaves a brutal odor behind.

“It’s been pretty smelly along here for the last two months,” said Abney.

Bits and pieces of tiny crabs were scattered on Abney’s truck. The layers of feces have led Abney to become a regular at the car wash. 

“It’s pretty acidic, so you cannot leave it on your vehicle. I go get it washed off cause it’ll mess up your paint,” said Abney.

For now, the smell will continue to linger, and the poop will keep raining down until the young birds leave the nest.

"I think it’s awesome. Yes, it drives you to the car wash, but I grew up in Louisiana and Texas so I've been around wildlife my whole life," said Abney.

489870442 Juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron
A juvenile night heron
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