Updated October 14, 2023
Throughout the year, we receive emails asking,
"What can I do to stop Cardinals and Robins from crashing into, pecking, or attacking my windows and car mirrors?"
First things first, we need to know what is causing this weird bird behavior. Why do birds do this?
When birds see another of the same species in their breeding or feeding territory, it instinctively attacks the other bird.
Your house or car windows act as mirrors to the birds.
When a Cardinal or Robin is close enough to see their reflection, they interpret this as an intruder and begin attacking, pecking, or flying at the window every morning, and throughout the day to chase the intruder away.
Both males and females engage in this behavior. Females see another female and males see another male encroaching on their territory.
In this case, the bird sees a reflection of trees or sky and is unable to tell that the window is a solid barrier.
We, as bird watchers, need to take every measure possible to remedy this problem.
Decrease the reflectivity of your windows:
I tried putting the picture on the back of a chair in the room rather than on the window. All have worked. The Cardinal stopped attacking my window.
So far, the faces I have tried have all been in color and they have filled the 8.5x11 page," James said. Give it a try. It may work for you.
Create a physical barrier:
Any shape will work. The non-reflective cutout helps the birds focus on the glass and avoid flying into the glass.
While these measures won't guarantee Cardinals and Robins will stop attacking or crashing into your windows and mirrors, they may minimize the behavior.
One More Tip From Alex SallyLink to Pens Glass Marking Pens
One last point: This behavior is at its peak during the nesting season. For the most part, this behavior should decrease as soon as the young leave the nest.
But, for an unfortunate few, it can go all year long.
Explore more about the Northern Cardinal Habits
|Birds and Blooms||Pioneer Woman||People Magazine||First For Women|
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