Diatribe: Kamikaze Cardinals.
We enjoy feeding the birds around our house and this is the time of year when we see the most activity. Flowers are blooming and the trees finally have all of their leaves so the birds are busy building nests. We have one feeder that I particularly enjoy because it is positioned outside a window so that I can see it from my favorite spot on the sofa. It attracts a variety of backyard birds including blue jays, woodpeckers, chickadees and cardinals. This particular spring, we’ve been inundated with an extraordinary amount of cardinals. And they’ve taken to throwing themselves against the windows of our house from sunrise to sunset every day!
Although female birds have been known to do this, its usually the male birds that repeatedly fly into windows, car mirrors and other reflective surfaces. The reason for this common phenomenon is really very simple … in spring all birds are staking out territories and they seldom allow other birds of the same species to share territories because too many of one species in an area will deplete food sources and nesting locations. A cardinal, for example, may tolerate a bluebird nesting nearby because they are after different nesting locations and different foods, but it won’t tolerate another cardinal.
When a cardinal happens to see its reflection in a window, it thinks it’s seeing another bird in its territory and it will attack it, continuously, until the other bird goes away. In nature, the other bird will eventually go away but the reflection never leaves so the cardinal continues to attack its own reflection sometimes to the point of injuring or even killing itself.
It appears that the only way to put a stop to these avian antics is to cover our windows with brown paper or cardboard to eliminate the reflections until such time as the birds thinks the other bird has left the area. As soon as the birds have mated and are busy with nest building and feeding their babies, they’ll calm down and stop worrying about intruders. Other cardinals will be busy, too, in territories of their own.
Since so many of our windows are on the second floor, we won’t be covering them. It seems that I’ll be waking at daybreak until such time as the birds have all settled in, built their nests and started their families. Or broken all their necks.
Are birds flying into YOUR windows this spring?
Like this post? Follow the blog and get involved in discussions! Find “Follow via Email” on the right side of the page and click “Follow.” Click on buttons at the end of each post to share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media sites, too!
Copyright © 2014 www.DiatribesAndOvations.com
Please feel free to share this post.
- Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to email (Opens in new window)
From → Diatribes