Spring is here and once again; the air is fresh, the flowers are blooming, and the birds are flying head first into windows. Wait, what? Many homeowners have experienced this strange, but very common phenomenon–birds repeatedly flying into windows, car mirrors or any other reflective surface. What is going on and how can it be stopped?
The bird experts over at Duncraft shed a little light on this situation. According to the company, although female birds have been known to do this, it’s mostly male birds that repeatedly fly into windows. The reason is simple. In spring all birds are staking out territories. Birds seldom allow other birds of the same species to share territories because too many of one species in an area depletes food sources and nesting locations.
A bird may tolerate a bird of a different species nesting nearby because the birds are after different nesting locations and different foods, but it won’t tolerate another one of its own. When a male bird spots another male, a chasing fight will ensue. The dominate male gets the mate, the nesting location, the territory and the food in that area. A lot is at stake! When a bird happens to see its reflection in your window, or car mirror, it’s seeing a bird of the same species in its territory–and that’s not allowed. The bird will continuously attack until the other bird goes away. In nature, the other bird will indeed go away, but that reflection just stays there! Being persistent, the bird just continues to attack its own reflection.
So, how can this irritating behavior be stopped? Duncraft advises that homeowners block the reflection. The easiest way to do this is to put a piece of cardboard on the outside of the window where the bird is attacking. It may not look pretty, but it doesn’t have to be done for long–only until the bird thinks the other bird has departed. As soon as the bird has mated and is busy with nest building and feeding nestlings, he’ll calm down and won’t be worried about intruders. Others of its species will be busy too, in territories of their own.
So, what initially seemed like a mystery turns out to be a simple, springtime response to a challenger bird–and it’s easily remedied!