About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stop birds from attacking the windows

I don't have a problem with birds accidentally hitting the window. I do have a Cardinal attacking my window on purpose. How do I make him stop?

This problem occurs frequently during the breeding season and can be quite distressing to people living inside the house.

If the attack on windows is a regular occurrence and not just an accidental window strike, the likely behavior is a reaction to the bird interpreting its reflection as an intruder on its territory. Cardinals are highly territorial and defend their nesting area vigorously from other male cardinals.

Both Robins and Cardinals are well known for this type of behavior but it can occur with any bird. A simple solution to this problem is to cover the window with screens or rub the window with a bar of soap to decrease the reflection.

To increase success, interrupt the bird’s bad behavior by going outside when the bird first attacks. The objective here is to shock the bird out of its pattern of territoriality. These birds are usually young males with little experience with the ladies. If you can get him away from beating up his reflection long enough, he might find a lady love to help him find a better way to spend his days.

Some tips to deter bird window attacks:
• Cover the window with screens
• Shut the blinds on your windows when you are not at home and at night.
• Rub the window with a bar of soap or squirt with liquid soap to decrease the reflection. 
• Hang Mylar balloons, windsocks or Flutter Scare tape.* Anything that moves and repels the bird from that area will be effective.
• Install a window feeder.* This breaks the reflection and other birds interrupt the birds battles with himself.

*Available at Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing, MI

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tape a magazine photo of a human face on the inside of the window being pecked at by cardinals. Choose a picture that's as close as possible to the actual size of a person's face. After experimenting with numerous other deterrents that were unsuccessful, this technique finally solved the problem.