Birds and Windows
We no longer want robins nesting under our deck, but one keeps landing
on a log holder and keeps smashing its body against my glass door. Why does the
bird do this and how can I get it to stop?
Birds that fly against glass are responding to their own reflection as if it was
a rival bird. About the only way to prevent it is to mask the glass in some way
to break up the reflection.
Without meeting your robin I will be prepared to lay a significant amount on the
fact that your robin is a male, and he has a female friend out there somewhere.
When he first landed on your log he saw what he thought was a rival male bird, and
so he challenged it- by flying straight at it. He has not yet won the fight, but he
will keep coming back to check if the rival is still there, and to challenging him
again and again. The rival he can see is of course his reflection in the window.
This something that many birds do.
To stop the behaviour there are a couple of things to try -
- move the log holder so that is does not reflect in the window.
- put something, like a cardboard box, in between the log holder and the window, to block the reflection.
- spray the window with window cleaner, the white frothy kind, and leave it on the
window to spoil the reflection.
- paint the favored spot on the log holder with something which will deter the
robin - strong chili sauce or horseradish may well work without doing any harm.
- locate the female, who will be in the process of making a nest. Assuming there
are no eggs in it already, destroy the nest and put all of it in the bin where she
can't get the pieces to rebuild. You may have to do this a couple of times before
she gives up.
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Update: June 2012