Have you ever heard a repeated thud on your window only to find out it’s a bird? This is not the occasional strike when a bird inadvertently hits a window…this is a repeated and deliberate attack on your window.
Why Do Birds Attack Windows?
When a bird sees its reflection in a window, it perceives the reflection as a territorial rival. During spring and early summer when birds are defending their breeding territories, window attacks pick up. After the breeding season has ended (as late as August depending on the number of broods), the aggression will wane and the attacks will lessen.
Bird species that are very aggressive or territorial are most likely to exhibit this behavior. In the Louisville area, cardinals and robins are highly territorial birds while swallows, starlings, finches and sparrows are also known to strike at windows.
Some bird behavior is only mildly annoying…
…but other bird behavior is downright terrifying!
What Can I Do To Prevent the Attacks?
A territorial bird can be very persistent. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “Territorial battles with windows may be so strong that a bird may exhaust itself, but the collisions usually don’t result in fatal injury.”
While you may want to keep the bird from injuring itself, the good folks at the Massachusetts Audubon group suggest that, usually, the best course of action is to do nothing and wait. But if the behavior is disruptive to your daily life or is causing obvious injury to the bird, the key to stopping the attacks is to break up the reflection the bird sees so it does not feel threatened.
- Pull down your shades. White curtains or blinds can prevent birds from seeing their reflections.
- Use a bar of soap or tempura paint to draw large patterns on the outside of the window to break up the reflections.
- Place painter’s tape, decals, sun catchers or other objects closely together (leave no clear areas larger than 4″ wide x 2″ tall) on the outside of the window.
- Place non-reflective screen or netting outside the window at least 2-3 inches from the glass.
- Add one-way transparent film or opaque, cloudy plastic (medium weight plastic painter’s drop cloth works well) to windows.
- Move bird feeders or bird baths away from the problem window.