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Suicidal Cardinal

 
Todd Parr
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Posts: 1793
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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So, I seem to have a suicidal female Cardinal.  My bedroom windows are east and south facing, and one female Cardinal slams herself into the windows ALL DAY LONG.  I'm kind of shocked at how hard she hits them.  I'm assuming she is seeing her reflection and thinking it is a rival for the territory.  Anyone have a suggestion to make her stop?  Maybe hanging something in the window?  The behavior normally starts early in the morning, as early as 5:30 or so and doesn't stop until sundown as far as I can tell.
 
Anne Miller
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You maybe right that she is seeing her reflection and thinks it is a rival.

We have suicidal Hummingbirds and others.  I think our windows reflect the sky and so they run into them.  Many of them do not recover from the impact.

I was thinking of getting some of the vinyl stickers for windows, not sure what they are called to make the windows frosted. Found it:  Frosted Glass Window Film.

I hope you figure it out.

 
Todd Parr
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I just found this on a website.  I think I'll give it a try.

Top Tip From Texas Parks and Wildlife Service
The best solution I’ve found to this problem is one recommended by Texas Parks and Wildlife Service. It involves drawing grid lines on your windows using fluorescent marker pens (highlighters). It’s cheap and easy to do. It can be done from inside your property so there’s no need to worry about climbing ladders. Best of all, it works!

The pigment in the highlighters can be seen by birds but is difficult for humans to see, so it doesn’t interfere with your view out of the window too much. Drawing a grid of lines with a fluorescent marker breaks up a bird’s reflection, so the repetitive pecking behavior stops. The effect is virtually instant. I use Sharpie Tank Highlighter Marker Pens. Their tanks contain enough ink to draw a grid over the whole window and their quick-drying ink means that smudging is minimized.

The video below was made by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Service and demonstrates the difference in bird behavior between a marked window and an unmarked one. It is remarkable the difference a few highlighter lines can make.

Link to page with video here:  DenGarden
 
James Freyr
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Location: West Tennessee
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I watched a show on birds and a segment highlighted the problem of birds flying into windows. What most of them see isn't their own reflection (they're zooming in from afar and usually at an angle to the glass, not usually directly at it where they would see themselves), the birds see a reflection of the sky, or the grass, or another tree or trees. Drawing grids or other patterns/shapes on glass helps break up the reflection to prevent our avian friends from crashing into windows. Growing up, my dad put a couple transparent "stained glass" looking stickers on some windows and it really seemed to help.
 
Todd Parr
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Posts: 1793
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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James Freyr wrote:I watched a show on birds and a segment highlighted the problem of birds flying into windows. What most of them see isn't their own reflection (they're zooming in from afar and usually at an angle to the glass, not usually directly at it where they would see themselves), the birds see a reflection of the sky, or the grass, or another tree or trees. Drawing grids or other patterns/shapes on glass helps break up the reflection to prevent our avian friends from crashing into windows. Growing up, my dad put a couple transparent "stained glass" looking stickers on some windows and it really seemed to help.



I've had birds hit my windows for that reason as well.  When I was very young, my mom taught me that if that happens, you put them inside a paper bag where its dark and leave them for a couple hours.  I've had really good luck with that.  Seems that blocking the light helps for some reason.

This issue is different.  This bird hovers in front of the windows for hours slamming into it over and over.  Same bird every day as far as I can tell.
 
Daniel Schmidt
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Location: Jacksonville, FL
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I used to have a mocking bird do that for a few years. Apparently it noticed that the local cats would get the attention of my roommate by going in the window and making noise to get fed, so it would essentially do the same thing. It was a mean bird that had no problems attacking larger birds, cats, or just about anything it perceived as a threat. Like many other local animals, it was eating the dry cat food being set outside. It would go around to the bedroom window first, and if didn't get fed it would go to all the other windows and attempt to hover while getting in a few rather loud pecks at the window. It would do this a few times in a row and wait a minute, then move on to the next window until he got his way.

Eventually he got a mate and they chased away any birds that came nearby. They had babies and then by the next year they all left. I'm not sure what happened but he was one angry bird! Maybe you could try some bird feed away from the house and see if it stops.
 
Gabriel Hart
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Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Hello Todd and All

Are you still experiencing bird versus glass window issues? I have been testing a new design and possible solution for this problem: https://fireflyglow.org/the-bird-o-bright-2/

If you would like to try one for free, I would greatly appreciate the feedback. It has been performing well over a few years of testing, however still cannot rule out coincidence until more tests are done.

Thanks in advance for your help!
 
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