What to do when a bird taps on your window or car mirror

from the Wild Bird Care Centre (via Sandy Garland)

When one of our volunteers posted a note about an “amorous male robin” flirting with the mirror on her neighbour’s car, I chuckled. But later, another friend of the FWG pointed out the following good practical advice from the Wild Bird Care Centre.

American Robin photographed by Diane Lepage

American Robin photographed by Diane Lepage

“Tap, tap, tap, TAP, TAP, TAP!! Anybody home?

“With many local birds in full breeding mode you may have observed some strange bird behavior lately.

“Northern Cardinals and American Robins are notorious for tapping away at windows, car mirrors, or any other reflective surface. If you have observed one of these birds constantly flying into or tapping at your window it is able to see its own reflection. They think their reflection is other bird and they are trying to scare it out if its territory!

“These birds can waste the better part of the day attacking their own reflection. To stop these birds you must place something on the OUTSIDE of the window to break up the reflection. This could be as simple as post-it notes or streamers, but for some of the more determined birds you may need to cover the entire window with a sheet. Some have suggested using bubble wrap so the light will still come through the window.

“Covering the window for a day or two usually solves the problem for the entire breeding season.”


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