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Hey! Bird! Stop that!

We have acquired a female cardinal who keeps flying into our downstairs bathroom window.

I've heard of birds flying into big picture windows when they couldn't tell that it wasn't open space, but this is a little octagonal "porthole" that cranks open (swinging out about 30 degrees) and has plastic faux pane dividers. (Edit: Like this, and all of 18 inches across. With the crosshatch thingies, the largest clear part of the window is literally six inches square.) Unfortunately, it's also right next to the branches of the adolescent trees that the bird has decided she likes (I don't see a nest, but there are a lot of small branches for it to be camouflaged in), and from the last 20 minutes of googling, I've found that birds will confuse the reflection of branches for more branches, and that cardinals in particular have a habit of attacking their own reflections, particularly during mating season.

Having watched her fly repeatedly and aggressively at the window earlier this evening, I'm thinking we're dealing with the latter. We opened the window a few inches, which is probably enough to solve the problem since it changes the angle and she's not likely to see her reflection in it when sitting in the tree. However, it's going to back down in the 50s tomorrow, and we may not want to keep the window open all the time.

Anybody have experience with any of these methods, or others that might not be mentioned? Anything you swear by?

*headshake* Learn something new every day. Today I learned what a female cardinal looks like (didn't even take long; the bright orange beak was a helpful element for search terms), that she's the one with the distinctive song I've been noticing since we moved into this house... and that she's not playing with a full deck. :-)


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 2nd, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
We had some keep flying into the glass door to the patio. My mother put cling-film snowflakes on it, and I believe they stopped. (There may have been an especially stupid starling that did it once more, but that would be it.) I recommend some kind of stick-on decal, preferably big, and preferably several of them.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
What's blowing my mind is that this kind of window. And about 14 inches across. There's hardly anything there to get confused by!

It's gotta be the reflection thing.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
Poor crazy bird. LOL. Maybe try covering your window outside with aluminum foil this weekend?
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:53 am (UTC)
That's a stopgap I hadn't thought of. We're going to be looking for something to put on the outside so it doesn't reflect, since that has to be the problem. With the crosshatch thingies, the largest clear part of the window is literally six inches square.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
I have translucent maple-leaf-shaped decals on my back windows so birds won't fly into them. I got the decals from a store that specializes in bird feed, feeders, etc. There's probably a similar store in your area.

In 101 Things You Can Do to Help Birds, ornithologist Laura Erickson advises placing the decals no more than a hand's width apart. But with a window as small as yours, you'll only need a few.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:51 am (UTC)
With the crosshatch thingies, the largest clear part of the window is literally six inches square. It's got to be the reflection thing.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 10:30 pm (UTC)
One of the best things for keeping birds away, being it banging into windows, nesting in the eves or pooping on the BBQ....take a paper or foam plate and draw two big black eyes on it. You just needs to put to big spots for eyes. They thing it something really big looking at them. It sounds hoky, but it really works. Hang them around in hanging baskets, in windows to keep the birds from being a pest.

And best part..it's cheep.

Another way to keep them away from windows is to hang an alluminum pie pan in the window.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:55 am (UTC)
Either of those would cover almost this entire window! But it's good information to have.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
For a temp solution I'd think a bar of soap/some dishwashing liquid/a bit of dirt on the outside just to kill the reflectivity (because you're right--if it's not the attack thing, then she's really seriously hit her head one too many times already :)
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:56 am (UTC)
*nods* I was thinking hairspray -- propmaster's trick for mirrors on stage. :-)

Hopefully I can find something this weekend that will work more long-term. There has to be some kind of film to simulate frosted glass or something.

Edit: And, according to the link provided by gryphonslair, it's called CollidEscape. Yay, internets!

Edited at 2010-04-03 02:01 pm (UTC)
Apr. 3rd, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
You can see all the methods recommended by the Wisconsin Humane Society by going to this page.

Window clings are the solution most often reported as effective on the Wisconsin Birder's email list, and by a local Authorized Wild Bird Rehabber I know, but your window is so small you might want to go the mylar tape route instead.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 10:00 am (UTC)
There's already only six inches square that are clear!

However, I was already thinking there must be some kind of film I could apply that would keep her from seeing the reflection (which has to be the problem, given the crossbars) and this link gave me a brand name, CollidEscape. So, yay internets!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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