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Click to go to Audubon Society of Omaha Home Page Audubon Society of OmahaEastern Bluebird

Welcome to The Bluebird Box since 1995
Best of Bluebird Mailing Lists Classified

Window Strikes (& Bluebirds)


Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2000 23:47:38 -0500
From: Rick Varner rickvarner"at"mindspring.com
Subject: Unlucky bluebird

Hello all-

Good to find your web site. We can use any suggestions you have.

This morning we heard the characteristic "thump" behind the curtains, and this afternoon my daughter found a mature female Eastern Bluebird doing the ground flutter thing. Seems her left foot and right wing aren't working. Given the neighbor's cat alternative, she didn't object a lot to capture with gentle gloves, and is resting in the house, in a 10 gallon aquarium on a 2" bed of pine needles and leaves. Aquarium is wrapped in a towel, with a screen top (not that there appears to be a flight risk at present. Water has been available. A small dish of finch seed (looks like miniature bird seed) from Wal-mart, and a little suet were just made available. Her head moves tracking motion, reacts to light / camera flash, normally sits upright on bed, but if she tilts left, takes a while regaining upright posture.

Appreciate any feedback. We've got a dog, an outside pet rabbit and a temporary (hibernating) three legged turtle, have had snakes and anole's, but the Bluebird thing is new. Tell us what we should do. Any ideas on how to help her get back in the sky?

Rick Varner
Whispering Pines, NC.


Date: Sat, 02 Dec 2000 19:24:47 -0400
From: Haleya Priest mablue"at"gis.net
Subject: Re: Unlucky bluebird

Haleya Priest Amherst MA

Dear Rick, I am not sure if you've received personal emails on your injured bluebird - others may have other ideas.   You have the bird in the appropriate container - my rehabber uses an aquarium with a screen top such as yours.   It sounds like she hit the window? If you are certain she didn't get attacked by a cat, things are much better as even with the tiniest of claw or teeth marks this will cause the bird to die of infection.

I would consider getting a hold of a rehabber in your neck of the woods to find out what course of action is best. This would be a perfect time to contact a rehabber as once nesting season sets in and you have an emergency, you'll have already contacted the rehabber and gotten to know him or her.   The rehabber is trained to diagnose problems such as broken wings, etc. and given the problem they have experience with how to rehab the bird. Sounds like the bird may be more than stunned, and may need to keep quiet for several days to weeks in order to mend the wing (if that is the problem). The rehabber will have some sort of set-up to allow the bird to practice flying again to restrenghten its wing.

It will be interesting to hear what others recommend.

The Bluebird Ref Guide should have the URL for a rehabbers web site that lists rehabbers in your location. I will send that website along after dinner ( I am being called now) - or someone else can send you the site.

Keep us posted as to how you proceed and the progress of your Mrs. - we'll all learn from it! :-) H


Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2001 00:42:04 -0500
From: Rick Varner rickvarner"at"mindspring.com
Subject: Re: Fw: Unlucky bluebird

Hi Folks,

Had promised to update you on our families oddessy with the Bluebird window strike the beginning of December.

Finally stumbled across the rehabbers number, and called for an update. Waaaaah. Sorry, no other way to put it. The bird was doing fine for a week or so, getting even better, eating well, good droppings, active but not back to the flight line, and even had a long term protected home worked out. Then mid afternoon, laid over on the cage floor, and was gone in a couple hours. Peggy speculates it may have been a blood clot or brain damage from the original window strike.

Well, in that famous other's words, "better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved..."

You all, and your list have been such a joy, that I had to complement you once again. We've remained subscribed, but the urgencies of the world seem to have precluded reading many of the Messages of late. Perhaps another lesson learned (again), spend more time, where you find the real joys in life.

From one of my earlier status posts:

Funny, I've known what a bluebird was, but never up close. The few times she chirped to us during capture, what a wonderful voice. Even with her darker markings, what a beauty. Guess we better put up my daughter's Bluebird house after all. Helped her 6th grade class make houses last year (one per
student). Small world, isn't it?

Well, thanks again for all the support and encouragement! This one seems to
have a what I might call, a Bluebird ending!

But, I guess it didn't after all ... for the bird. What's important, is that all of you realize the truly positive experience you, and your list, have made
possible, for a 13 year old girl, for a busy family, for a rehabber, and at least for a week, for a Bluebird.

Thanks again, one and all! If anyone has any "simple" ideas for attracting a more bluebirds, let me know.

Rick Varner
Whispering Pines, NC

PS: I've heard both ways, was this a male or female? Seems like the book says female.


Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2001 22:55:03 -0800
From: "Leah Hawks" leahhawks"at"hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Fw: Unlucky bluebird

Hi, Rick, good to hear from you again, we were wondering the fate of the rescued BB. Sorry to hear the end of the story. My little rescued sparrow from 1999 took off so fast, I knew I had done the right thing, and what a joy to have it jumping from hand to lap to floor and back again over and over. My granddaughter was in heaven over a robin and her brood under the carport at their apartment. It's good to spread love for nature to the next generation! Good luck this year.

Leah Hawks, Napa Valley


Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 07:37:35 -0500
From: "Sandie Graf" sgraf"at"starband.net
Subject: Window banging

Hello-

We have a juvenile bluebird who keeps banging against the windows of our house. He is making quite a mess. I'm not sure if it is the same one all the time, there are four babies so they could be "taking turns". 

Does anyone have any ideas about why he is doing this and how to get him to stop. He wakes up long before I do in the morning and his banging at 5:30 am on the bedroom window is getting annoying. : )

Thanks

Sandie
Hazleton, Iowa


Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 14:42:19 -0400
From: "v. m. straus" v.m.straus"at"mail.wdn.com
Subject: Re: Window banging

A lot of birds do that. At our house, the cardinals do it the most, but they aren't by themselves. There are several theories. Some say it's because they see a reflection of the forest or bushes in the glass and try to fly into it. Others say it is a reflection of themselves and they think it is another bird and either they are trying to attack it or trying to play with it or think it is a parent, etc., etc.

At any rate, we discouraged a pea hen (peacock female) a few years ago by putting newspaper on the window so that she could see no reflection and she immediately went away after a week of banging into the window.

You might try that. VMS


Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 16:01:58 -0400
From: Celia Rogers celrogers"at"earthlink.net
Subject: Re: Window banging

Celia Rogers, Georgetown, Georgia (across the lake from Eufaula, Al.)

I had the banging problem with a female BB while she was on the nest. I e-mailed someone at Birds and Blooms (magazine, and incidentally that is where I got this email list) and she said the female was seeing her reflection and was protecting her territory. That makes sense to me. I was not monitoring the BB box until I started getting these e-mails but I noticed only one BB baby so I checked the box and found three infertile eggs. She has built another nest in BB box and has laid two eggs so far but has already started banging on the windows and messing them up. I closed the blinds and have sheets hanging over them. So far, this is working but don't know how it will work after the BBs hatch. This is the third nesting in that particular box.


Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 13:23:39 -0700
From: John Schuster John"at"KABAaudio.com
Subject: Re: Window banging

Dear Sandie and friends,

Sound like a great alarm clock to me as I get up at about that time, but lets see what we can do about this feathered lunatic. I'm not sure about this particular bird, but I have observed this behavior in other birds.

This bird (or birds) could be reacting to it's own refection in my opinion. It sees another bird in a mirror (or reflection in glass) and attacks this other bird as a intruder not knowing that it's a reflection of it's self. I've watched birds do this on all kinds of reflective surfaces and it's funny to watch. They just keep going at it for hours.

The funniest part is when they stop for a moment to wonder, "Why is this bird still hanging around here? I've slugged it out with him for hours so get lost already!" Then their back at it again.

I was once told that one of the definitions of insanity is doing the something over and over again and expecting different results so this behavior is really loony, but entertaining. However, at 5:30 am I would say that the entertainment value is lacking.

I would suggest that you apply a sheet of new paper or something non reflective over your window to eliminate the reflective properties of the glass. If that fails to work I would suggest going to bed a little earlier during the nesting season and pray that it all ends soon.

Let me know how it works out for you, and until me meet again.

Happy Bluebird Trails To You,
John Schuster...


Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 19:31:16 -0400
From: "Bill & Dot Forrester" wforres1"at"twcny.rr.com
Subject: Re: Window banging

There was a thread like this a while back. The problem with a bird fighting its reflection is that either it might injure itself, or spend all its time on defense instead of caring for the young. I have had good luck taping up newspaper, but that only works on small windows. The solution for large windows that most people had success with was to hang thin netting, like they sell in garden centers and home improvement stores, on the outside. Netting is attached over the window and allowed to hang loose, apparently breaking up the reflection enough that the bird will return to its normal activities. The other solution that worked for many people was to hang up semi-sheer curtains over the window on the inside.

Dot


Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 14:58:08 -0400
From: Wendell Long mrsimple"at"go-concepts.com
Subject: Re: Window banging

Sandie...I had the same thing. Now I get up at 5 and bang on his house. I expect he will stop banging in 10 days. I am in the process of trying to train a Pileated to take my place and to start banging on his roof. Some people say it is the reflection thing. As you see I don't really know for sure though.

But I bet someone on the list will have had the very same experiences.

Wendell Long
Waynesville, Ohio


Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 15:15:36 -0400
From: "Bruce Burdett" blueburd"at"srnet.com
Subject: Re: Window banging

To: v.m. strauss, et al,

I can't add to v.m.'s theories about the head-banging birds. I've had Robins and Yellow-rumped Warblers do it. Anything we can do to break up or dull the reflected image in the glass would be a good start toward making them stop.

Sometimes they don't stop for a long time and seem determined to brain themselves. I wonder if birds ever become self-destructively psychotic. Some of these head-bangers act as though they've really lost it. They slam themselves into the glass all day long and seem to find no time to eat or tend to their reproductive responsibilities.


Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 00:24:36 -0400 (EDT)
From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
To: sgraf"at"starband.net, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Window banging

Hi Sandie, This happens every year and no one is sure what is going on. it is believed the bird sees its own reflection and is defending the area from another Bluebird. Your young bird is different than most reports. Are you sure this isn't the female? Place something in the window next to the glass to stop the banging against window. It may shift to another near by window. This will end soon as nesting progresses. This same flying against glass happens on truck mirrors in some cases and is messy. No harm done. Joe Huber Venice ,Fl.


Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 21:45:52 -0500
From: "Lee & Jim Johnson" mybuffy1"at"mindspring.com
Subject: Seeing Reflection versus "Just Being Nosey"

Hello Everyone,

With every Message I have read concerning the bluebirds seeing their reflection in the window, (we had a male that did the same thing early in the season) it reminds me of our pair that have parented seven babies so far this year in our backyard.

We have a door with 9 panels of glass in the top portion. At the beginning of the season, the male would lightly tap the window repeatedly. I emailed the Stokes and was told this is due to their being so territorial of their nesting area early on in the season. Now that they have been here for almost 4 months, they still come to the door (and the mealworm feeder is full) to perch and sit on the window ledge. They just sit there looking in for seconds at a time.

One early morning I was sitting in the backyard by the fountain with my cup of coffee enjoying the tranquility of the morning. Mom flew up to the door and perched for awhile on the ledge. I had to laugh--I was watching her as she was watching me. They do this quite often--it really is quite eerie! Maybe they are as curious about us, as we are them!

Lee in Missouri


Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 22:12:01 -0500
From: "Cheryl Rindfleisch" rindfleisch12"at"hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Seeing Reflection versus "Just Being Nosey"

I was very concerned the other morning having the same "problem". As I know birds do get injured flying in to the "rock hard glass trees" and this is the first time I've had blue birds, I was very concerned that they would be injured. Closing the shades and putting stickers on the windows seems to have kept Rocky and his lady friend at bay. A window net was also suggested and has been very successful. But since I don't know quite how to set up links, I can't yet take you there. Internet is not my expertise.

Enjoy your coffee and feathered neighbors. I know how much I enjoy doing the same.

Best regards, Cheryl


Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 22:50:09 -0500
From: "Stan, St. Paul, MN [44.444N, -93.106W]" stan1bb"at"frontiernet.net
Subject: OT - Prevent Birds from flying into windows

| Hello EveryBIRDie!
|
| Technically, this is Off-topic; however, possibly applicable to our cavity-nesting feathered friends, so will share it with you. If not applicable for you, hit "delete." Thanks for letting me share it with the others. ...
|
| Stan
| **************
Ever have a problem of having birds fly into your windows resulting in "momentary" immobility and/or death?

Stiles Thomas has an article about his development of "Feather Guard" as an innovative solution to the vexing problem of window-killed birds in the recent issue of BIRD WATCHER'S DIGEST:

http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/how_to/build_your_own/feather_guard.html ...


From: "judymellin" judymellin"at"netzero.net
Subject: a possible explanation for some behaviors
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2001 15:44:36 -0800

Since this subject has come up several times on our bluebird list, I thought this question, answer and suggestion might be useful! If it works for cardinal, sit may work for other birds, too!

Judy Mellin
NE IL.

----- Original Message -----
From: Q4BIRDS"at"aol.com
To: ibet"at"lists.enteract.com
Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2001 9:51 AM
Subject: IBET: Non-member submission from [REMAXRGY"at"aol.com]

In a Message dated 11/17/01 9:31:55 AM, REMAXRGY"at"aol.com writes:

I live in Dupage and for the past couple days I have had 2 different Cardinals bang on my kitchen window. I am talking they sit on the branch and keep hitting with their feet hard like they want to get into the house. Any idea what this means or what they are after. Please if yyou can respond I would like more information.
Thanks,
Remaxrgy"at"aol.com

Hello!
Cardinal males often perform this behavior. Birds do not understand mirrors so see their reflections as another bird. They are attacking their reflections in your windows, trying to drive away the "other bird" that has invaded their territory.

It is somewhat unusual to see this behavior in the fall/winter months, but male birds often get a second flush of testosterone in the fall (for those who are interested, this is called "gonadal
recrudescence"), which causes them to sing and act territorial. This is probably what has happened with the cardinals in your yard. The easiest way to keep them from hitting your windows while they attack their reflections is to soap the outside of the glass with a very thin mix of Comet (or other such cleanser) and water. This will dry to an opaque coating, stopping the reflection and giving your cardinals a break from the fights! You can wash it off in a few weeks, when they'll be more concerned
with finding food than with fighting off rivals.
Nancy Bent
Brookfield


From: "Bobby Wilson" bluebirdbob1"at"bresnan.net
Subject: Re: a possible explanation for some behaviors
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001 03:04:47 +0000

Comet might scratch the glass so I would use epson salts mixed with beer to for a thin paint. It will give a very nice effect that is quite attractive. I use it on the inside of a bathroom to keep a peeping tom at bay. It dose was off but take a little elbow grease.

Bob Wilson

...


Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001 19:59:15 EDT
From: "Rwatts" rwatts"at"mymailstation.com
Subject: Re: glass coatings

Comet might scratch the glass so I would use epson salts mixed with beer to for a thin paint.

How about Bon Ami? You know, the stuff you use to stencil windows at Christmas--the sales motto is `Never scratched yet' with a picture of a brand-new chick! And it shines the windows right up when you wipe it off.

Rhonda Watts


Date: Sun, 06 Jan 2002 18:26:01 -0400
From: Haleya Priest mablue"at"gis.net
Subject: Bluebird pecking at window

Haleya Priest Amherst MA
I know lots of you have had psycho birds pecking like crazy at your windows. We've got an inquiry about it and frankly have not paid enough attention to the solutions to give her good advice. Here is the email below.

I'll forward all replies to her. Might also add your replies and thoughts to our newsletter - THANKS :-) H
***

I live on Cape Cod (Mass) and I have a male bluebird pecking at every window and door of my house. It sits on the sill, chirps and jumps up and pecks at his own image.

Can you explain this behavior? The mate is not inside anywhere. I'm afraid for its safety. I believe that it is nesting in a nearby box attached to a tree. They have been on my property for the last 3
years but this pecking at the house has never happened before.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Diane
Cannistraro


From: "Keith & Sandy Kridler" kridler"at"1starnet.com
Subject: Re:Pecking at windows
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 07:44:35 -0600

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas a cool 29*F last night
Pecking at windows or mirrors is normally a territorial situation where the offending bird is trying to drive away the reflection it sees in the glass. Normally this is associated with spring time behavior where lengthening hours of daylight and improved diet trigger hormonal changes in the birds.

Tests with House Sparrows where male sparrows were injected with higher levels of testosterone would trigger the male to begin vigorously defending his chosen nestbox and also trigger his drive to search out and remove other cavity nesters using boxes close to his territory. It seems that these spikes in testosterone for the house sparrow can be triggered normally when we remove his nest of eggs or young since this triggers a response in the species to renest.

I did not see an actual date where the bluebird was pecking at the glass in the garage but assume it is recent. I have seen bluebirds and other species during winter trying to enter a glass window when they could see moths or other insects flying around the inside of a building trying to get out. The birds would hover at the glass pecking at the insects just 1/8" away!

If this is territorial then consider that very low levels of artificial light can trick birds into thinking it is summer. If the birds are roosting near a security light or even in most towns then they are subjected to 24 hour lighting! I have watched bluebirds feeding their young at midnight when their box was mounted on a security light pole. We keep chickens laying eggs all winter by simply keeping their hormone level raging by providing a high protein diet and an extra 4 hours of artificial light. Cut off food and water and turn off the lights and they quit laying eggs in just a few days and go into a forced molt! Their hormone levels quickly drop!

Many of our wild birds now have access to backyard feeding stations which provide high protein diets in northern areas in the form of suet, mealworms, and natural insects where animal farms, hot water lakes ETC. produce abundant supplies of insects even during the coldest months. Going back to the House Sparrows they had been found laying eggs and raising young during every month of the year by the 1920's. Why? They were nesting in or near buildings on farms where the relatively new artificial lighting and food was available simulating summer even when recorded temperatures were below zero!
I believe this is why we are seeing the first records of bluebirds nesting each spring in the yards of people providing food all winter. KK


From: Emch15"at"aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 9:11 AM
Subject: Bird fighting its own reflection

I have a male bluebird which constantly fights its own reflection in windows. He has even attacked hawk silhouettes. He is making a general nuisance of himself in the neighborhood. Would hate to take down the birdhouse, because it has been very productive. Any suggestions to curtail this activity would be appreciated. E.M.Childs, Savannah, GA (Emch15"at"Aol.com)


From: Evelyn Ford [eafrn"at"yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 10:22 AM
Subject: Re: Bird fighting its own reflection

Below is a link with some helpful tips on how to solve this problem.

http://birding.about.com/library/blbirdcrash.htm?terms=hitting+windows 

Evelyn
Ozark County, MO


Subject: RE: Bird fighting its own reflection
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 15:06:21 -0500
To: eafrn"at"yahoo.com, "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Here are some additional thoughts about window strikes.

Birds such as cardinals and robins will dash repeatedly at their reflections in windows. This may be the individual bird, usually a male, mistakenly perceiving another male bird in the reflection of the window.  It is territorial behavior for the bird to fight off the 'intruder". This behavior can be annoying to people, but is usually not fatal to the bird.

On the other hand, when a bird strikes a window in free flight, it does so with such force that the bird suffers injury. Sometimes the bird is merely stunned or sustains superficial injuries from which it may recover, but in over half of all recorded incidents the impact results in death. This is most common during spring and fall migration, but can happen at other times of the year.

Birds cannot readily distinguish the presence of a pane of transparent glass from an unobstructed space or pazzzgeway. Glass will reflect the most when it is darker inside than it is outside. Many people are not aware that birds are flying into and dying at their windows because the birds are small, frequently fall behind shrubbery, and more often than not are eaten by predators.

Some birds bang into windows because they think they see another bird in their territory, some birds fly into windows because they don't see the window. Other birds fly into windows because predators are chasing them. Whatever the reason, you can make your windows safer.

Here are some other steps for making your home windows safe for birds:
1.      With the exception of window feeding shelves, feeders and birdbaths should be located a safe distance away from windows (20 to 30 feet). If feeders are close to the window move them CLOSER (to within three feet) so if the birds 'flee' the feeders, they have not built up much speed.
2.      Window screens on the outside of the window are a great deterrent. 
3.      Decals, including cutouts of raptors, and leaded glass decorations are only moderately successful.
4.      Vertical exterior tape strips not more than 10 cm apart are a good deterrent.
5.      Interior vertical blinds with the slats half open will cut down on some casualties.
6.      Windows can be soaped to camouflage it.
7.      Shade trees planted outside the window should cut down on some of the reflection.

Hope this helps.

Don't forget to keep your cats indoors!

Alicia Craig
Senior Manager, Nature Education
Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.
11711 N. College Ave. #146
Carmel, IN 46032
317.571.7100
mailto:craiga"at"wbu.com


Subject: RE: more bird reflection ideas
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 16:42:10 -0500
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Someone e-mailed me privately to say that unless they figured out how to stop the window 'attacks', they would have to take down the house/feeders, etc. because their neighbors are complaining about the bird making a mess of the neighbors windows.

Here is a thought
Consider sending them a 'peace offering'. Put  a gift basket together to welcome them to the world of bluebirds. Tie a blue ribbon on the basket, or wrap the items in cellophane and tie it with a blue ribbon.

Find a note card with a cool picture of a bluebird, write down a few solutions to the problem, suggest they 'decorate' their window with a suncatcher (enclose one in your peace offering). Or enclose a silhouette they can place in the window. Include a coffee mug and a bag of Songbird Coffee. Visit the North American Bluebird Society web page for gift ideas. Give them a copy of a brochure that talks about how we can provide homes for cavity nesting birds that otherwise have a hard time finding places to raise their young. If you are near one of the Wild Birds Unlimited stores (or other bird seed stores), they should have plenty of brochures about a variety of subjects that you can include in the basket.

Breaking up the image the bird sees is the most important thing. While the look is not always attractive Mylar strips placed 3-4 inches apart and allowed to flap in the breeze can be a deterrent. You could give them a roll of this tape.

Good luck in dealing with people who have not yet grown fond of wildlife!

Alicia Craig
Senior Manager, Nature Education
Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.
11711 N. College Ave. #146
Carmel, IN 46032
317.571.7100
mailto:craiga"at"wbu.com
http://www.wbu.com

Be a Citizen Scientist, visit http://birds.cornell.edu/citsci/

Watch BirdWatch on PBS, visit http://www.pbs.org/birdwatch


From: "Russell Jacobson" rjlk"at"worldnet.att.net
Subject:
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 19:59:28 -0800

Hi,

We have put up our 1st blue bird house and surprise there are a male & female hanging around. We hope they build in our box.

Now comes the strange part. The male keeps trying to fly thru our kitchen & dining room windows. Can anybody tell us what he wants?

Help!!!!

Thanx,
Russ & Loraine
Knoxville, TN


From: Fan007"at"aol.com
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 16:45:26 EDT
Subject: Bluebird attacking Windows

I have put up nesting boxes on our property for several years with great success -- two or three nests each year. Last season a male bluebird started attacking our glass window panes on the Northwest side of the house that faces the nesting box.

The windows become messed with white droppings and need to be washed every day. The bird does this from early morning to late evening. Early this spring the male Bluebird started his attacks again and we are concerned that he may be become injured. The messy windows have become bothersome and we are thinking of removing the nest box when the current batch of fledglings leaves the nest.

Is there any experience with this problem Bluebird activity or does anyone have a solution?

Regards'
Frank
Concord, Ohio


From: TomGaryH"at"aol.com
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 19:21:36 EDT
Subject: Re: Bluebird attacking Windows

...Is there any experience with this problem Bluebird activity or does anyone have a solution?

The male probably sees its image in the window which is in its territory. Since bluebirds are territorial they will attempt to drive off other bluebirds - males attack males, females fight other females, sometimes male and female will attempt to drive off other males, once in a while various combinations seem to get along, but this is abnormal. So, I suspect the male
you have reported is attempting to drive away the other male (window image).

Try doing something that will prevent the male from seeing its image in the window. Here are some possibilities:

1. Cloud the window with something that will leave a white, chalky surface on the glass. Bon Ami used to be good for this. Brasso is another product. Some cleansers work. Whatever is used be careful not to scratch the glass.

2. Hang some yellow or orange construction ribbon (thin crime scene tape) down from the upper side of the window. Let it move with the breezes. There is also a product made with feathers and string or ribbon that is used for this - a wildbird specialty shoppe may be a place to locate this.

3. Bubble some aviary wire over the window to keep the bird away from the glass.

4. Sometimes the placement of decoy owls or hawks will ward off window attacking birds.

5. Perhaps relocating the nestbox after the current brood fledges will stop the window attacks and enable continued bluebird production and enjoyment by your family.

These are just a few suggestions, there are other things that can be done. The idea is to eliminate or decrease chances for the bird to see its image.

Please let us know what you do to help that bird drive off his rival.

Tom Heintzelman
Milton, Santa Rosa County, FL (western panhandle, inland) U.S.A.
30 38' 33"N 087 03' 32"W Zone 8 Eastern Bluebirds


From: "Burnham, Barbara"
Subject: RE: Bluebird attacking Windows
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 10:36:22 -0400

Frank,
   Yes, our backyard male bluebird has been doing this for over 2 months. Our basement patio doors could be seen from the bluebird house. He attacked  them viciously for 2 weeks, dawn to dusk, until he would sit on the ground completely exhausted. Screens did not help. I lightly smeared these windows with toothpaste, just enough to remove the reflection. It lasts a long time, easy to apply with a damp sponge, easy to wash off, and won't scratch the glass.

   However, the bird will move on to other windows. On our tall second floor window, toothpaste was not an option. I printed a life-size color picture of our local Barred Owl and taped it inside in the corner. We weren't sure how he would react, and fearing they would abandon the box, I removed the picture after 2 days, and that window has NOT been revisited (I counted the streaks and there are no new ones).

   In addition, I have left clean one small inset basement window where he can either sit, or fight to satisfy his territorial needs. Otherwise, he pummels all my neighbors' windows! A small price to pay for neighborhood peace. As of today, the pair has 4 eggs, and this behavior seems to be decreasing (I hope!). I also hope its not a genetic trait!

   Please don't give up on your bluebirds. They don't always have this behavior.
Barbara
Ellicott City, Maryland


From: Melrich21"at"aol.com
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 18:49:30 EDT
Subject: Odd BB behavior

Hi... have baby bluebirds being nicely tended to by mom and dad, and I have kept a goodly supply of yummy mealworms outside for them... but there has been a male bluebird behaving oddly outside my front door. There is a paladian window (decorative half-moon shaped) above the front door, and Mr. Bluebird has been sitting up there off and on all day, looking into the house, watching us (!), also has been flapping his wings and fluttering in front of the glass side panels on either side of the front door. I think I have even heard him pecking on the front door, the front of which is metal. Is he thinking his reflection in the glass is another male that he is fending off? Anyone have any thoughts on this? He is just adorable, doesn't seem the least bit afraid of us as we move about inside the house, and it is fun to watch.

TIA,
Becky in the north Georgia mountains


From: TomGaryH"at"aol.com
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 23:05:52 EDT
Subject: Re: Odd BB behavior

Becky,

Put one or two color coordinated balloons over the outside of the window for a while. If the balloons are filled with lighter-than-air gas attach their tethers below the glass. If not, anchor the tethers above the glass. These may discourage the bird from going to the window unless he is a party animal. If the metal on your door reflects images, try to cover the metal temporarily. Be careful not to scratch any protective covering that may be on the metal.

Tom Heintzelman
Milton, Santa Rosa County, FL (western panhandle, inland) U.S.A.
30 38' 33"N 087 03' 32"W Zone 8 Eastern Bluebirds


From: "Cameron" cscott5"at"charter.net
Subject: dads and bluebird
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 16:17:59 -0500

I am on my second batch of eggs this year with my bluebirds here for the last 3 days my male blue has been attacking the the slideing glass door. My dad said that if he keeps on he is going to shoot him. I mentioned the fine for shooting a bluebird and that the bluebird is the missouri state bird and since we live in missouri the fine would be alot higher. He said he didnt give a **** so what can i do to stop the bluebird from attacking the window.


Subject: RE: dads and bluebird
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 16:34:11 -0500
From: "Alicia Craig" craiga"at"wbu.com

You need to break up the image that the bird sees. If you can hang Mylar strips that flap in the breeze, or even balloons, that could help. Closing the curtains can sometimes help. Tho, the bird may move to another window to chase away another intruder. Having a bird constantly hitting a window can be annoying, try the strips, or even a wind chime outside the door. I have tried Mylar balloons before and they can help keep birds away form a specific area. Good luck.

Alicia Craig
Senior Manager, Nature Education
Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.
11711 N. College Ave. #146
Carmel, IN 46032
317.571.7100 ext 121
mailto:craiga"at"wbu.com ...


From: "Bruce Burdett" blueburd"at"srnet.com
Subject: Re: dads and bluebird
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 10:27:38 -0400

Cameron, Tom, et al,
This is 12 July, and the glass-banging Robin that starting pecking at my woodshop window back in late April is still at it. I've taken a few measures to try to stop him, but nothing has worked. He's still at it as I write, and he's been doing it for about eleven weeks.

I wonder what he'll say when other Robins ask him how he spent his summer. Bruce Burdett, SW NH


From: "Burnham, Barbara" Barbara.Burnham"at"zzz.zzz
Subject: RE: dads and bluebird
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 11:04:53 -0400

Cameron,

We also have a bluebird male who likes to bat the windows in the mornings. He might tire himself out, but he won't hurt himself. Here are two things which have worked for me:

Using a damp sponge, lightly smear toothpaste on the outside of the window. Just enough to blur the reflection. It won't scratch the glass and is easy to remove with a sponge and water. After a few days, he should give up on that window. He will probably move to another window, because this is his territory. He sees his reflection as a competitor.

For a higher up window, I made a color copy of a local barred owl, and taped it inside the window. He took one look at that and spun around the other way. He never bothered that window again, although I have removed the picture.

If you send me your address, I will send you an owl picture right away. Please don't shoot him!

Our bluebird male now bats the neighbor's window. I offered an owl picture, but their 2-year-old loves to watch the bird, so that's lucky for us.

Barbara Burnham
Ellicott City, Maryland


Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 18:49:21 -0700
From: Ann&Tom Long longann"at"pacinfo.com
Subject: Re: Blues looking and pecking in window

I have a pair of bluebirds that have coming to my mealworm feeder for almost two months suddenly start flying up to the windows and hovering real close and sitting on the window sill and looking in. They didn't peck at the window. As soon as I approached the window they would fly away. In a few minutes they would come right back and sit on the sill again. They did this for several days before losing interest. The female seemed to be the instigator of all this , the male just followed her around. Just curious I suppose.

Tom Long
Western Oregon


From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 9:55 AM
Subject: Bluebird Attracted To Reflection

A lady near Baton Rouge, LA called me this a.m. and said she has a male Bluebird that goes from window to window in her house. She asked if there was anything that could be done to stop him. She said he spends all his time and energy flying from a pine tree to the windows in the house most of the day. I told her that I had read of people being able to get them to stop if they were coming to just one window by putting up something to keep him from seeing his reflection. However, if he is going to all windows, I did not know what to tell her. She wondered if she bought mealworms, and tried to distract him to that if it would help. I did not know of any solution. If any of you have had this situation occur, did you just let it run its course or was there something you could do? Evelyn Cooper Delhi, LA


From: Kenny Kleinpeter [mailto:kpkmajk"at"cox.net]
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 10:48 AM
RE: Bluebird Attracted To Reflection

I have a couple of windows with beak marks mixed with blood all over them. This territorial behavioral gets unfunny very quickly - especially if it's a bedroom window! Unfortunately, supplying mealworms will just give him more time and energy to spend defeating his most formidable competitor.

Regardless of how many windows are involved, she should start with the most frequently "attacked" window by covering it with something. I permanently covered one window with shade cloth but even a piece of cardboard temporarily taped to the window over the bottom one-foot area will stop it. If he goes to the next "most threatening" window, do the same, etc. until he finally feels like he's taken control of the area. He may not feel like he can begin attracting a mate until he has "secured" this territory, so, if you want blues, you just have to help re-direct his energies. Remember, like most species, males are the stupider one. :) Kenny Kleinpeter Baton Rouge, LA


From: Snoopy [mailto:snoopy"at"wmis.net]
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 11:13 AM
Re: Bluebird Attracted To Reflection

Evelyn, I don't know if you remember but I had something simaler this last year..... the male went to all the windows on the south side of my house, pecking on the windows. (pecking at his reflection?) I was more worried than bothered, but eventually after about 2 weeks he just stopped coming. My best advice would be to wait it out. Joy in Michigan


From: Shane&Emily Marcotte [mailto:marco50"at"bellsouth.net]
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 5:55 PM
Re: Bluebird Attracted To Reflection

Ev I would go to Wal-Mart and get some of that stuff people use to write on their cars!! Get white and cover the windows in question. There goes the answer to the person who was gonna put a mirror on the nest box to deter HOSP. I had a Goldfinch all winter that fought himself in the 1 window above my kids shower.I got some great pics when he would sit still for a sec. Shane Marcotte Member LBBS


From: Burnham, Barbara [mailto:Barbara.Burnham"at"zzz.zzz]
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2004 8:18 AM
RE: how long do Bluebirds normally occupy a nest?

Lara, We had a male bluebird that would bat our windows (and the neighbor's windows) any time of day, any day of the year. It is territorial behavior, as his nest site was near the house. He was with us for almost 3 years. He would do this for hours at a time, even in winter. He would start early in the morning, seeing his reflection in the window, sometimes sneaking up on this "competitor," peeking around the corner and scaring himself. Hysterical to watch, but dangerous for him, because he didn't watch his back and one very sad day he was nabbed by a hawk. .... Barbara Burnham Ellicott City, MD


From: Burnham, Barbara [mailto:Barbara.Burnham"at" zzz.zzz]
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2004 11:52 AM
RE: Bluebird Attracted To Reflection

Evelyn, We had a male bluebird who batted our windows (including the neighbor's windows) for almost 3 years. Any time of day, dawn to dusk, any time of year. Sometimes he would sit on the ground completely exhausted. To prevent it, I lightly smeared the glass with toothpaste, just enough to remove the reflection. It lasts a long time, easy to apply with a damp sponge, easy to wash off, and won't scratch the glass. However, he simply moved to other windows. For one window, I printed a life-size color picture of a Barred Owl and taped it inside in the corner. He stopped bothering that window for a long time. This owl also deterred house finches from building a nest on our porch lamp (boy did they scold for a while!) After a while I removed both the toothpaste and the owl picture. Otherwise, he bothered the neighbors' windows. I knew someday a hawk would take notice of this behavior, which happened early this Spring. That crazy little bluebird will be missed. We made lots of jokes about his "workouts" in the windows, "getting buff". Barbara Burnham Ellicott City, MD


From: JOHN & BARBARA SIBIO [mailto:jsibio"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2004 1:44 PM
Subject: Bluebirds at windows

I  haven't had a problem with bluebirds at my windows, but I have had other birds fly into picture windows and die over the years.  I bought some of those vinyl hawk silhouettes and put them up in the spring on the larger windows.  I also found that covering the window with a soft fabric screen helps a lot.  I imagine the birds still fly into the reflection of the sky, but the screen cushions the blow and they survive.  I also use those stick-on ornaments to break up the reflection.  Now I have a good excuse to let my windows stay dirty! ...


From: Joe Baker [mailto:rok90"at"adelphia.net]
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2004 4:39 PM
Subject: Need help to end EABL bazaar behavior

There are some things in life that you have to see to believe. This is one of them. My EABL male, female, and 3 babies (2 weeks old) have developed this bazaar habit of flying to my neighbor's elevated patio deck, 60 feet away, each and every time they take a mealie from my feeder. Hold on, it gets worse. Every time I monitor the nestbox (with 5 eggs) the male flies to the same neighbor's patio door, clings to the door frame and bangs on the door glass. This behavior has been going on for a week now, and I have got to do something to stop all of this. I have a great neighbor that has been tolerant thus far, but this simply cannot go on any longer. It is not as though they have no other place to fly to, as I have a dozen-plus trees in the back yard. Folks, I need help, big time. Please give me some ideas as to what is going on, and how to stop this from happening. It is my worst nightmare. Thanks, all. Joe Baker SW VA


From: Wendell Long [mailto:mrsimple33"at"go-concepts.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2004 5:50 PM
Subject: Re: Need help to end EABL bazaar behavior

Yes indeed Joe Baker it is certainly nice to have tolerant neighbors. I have honestly tried to think of helpful things to do in order to assist you with your EABL bazaar behavior. The only overall strategy I can come up with is to fight bazaar behavior in kind. So how about trying the following tactical maneuvers to see if they are effective.

1. Switch feeding mealies from your birds and start feeding them to your neighbors.

2. Remove your neighbor's door.

3. Move in with your neighbor for one week.

If these three suggestions don't show any improvement in the situation then as one last resort do what I did when I had the very same problem; treat your good neighbor to an all expense paid Caribbean Cruise for the summer until bluebird season is over for another year. Since I am unable to be of real help I am sure there are those on the list who have more effective and less bazaar recommendations to suggest. I know you will have better luck than I had. My neighbor was not as understanding as yours seems to be. Now he not only expects me to provide for his annual vacation but I have to watch out for his lousy pet alpaca and llama while he is gone! And they just hate mealies too! I should have known better than to get involved. Now I am in over my head with no consensus in sight. Wendell


From: Paula [mailto:PaulaZ"at"columbus.rr.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 1:36 AM
Re: Need help to end Bazaar EABL Behavior

Joe, Although Wendell's suggestions are much more fun, I am quoting the following directly from: http://www.nhaudubon.org/naturalist/naturalistbirdpeck.htm Hope it helps.

The male is seeing his reflection in the glass and thinks it is a rival EABL so he pecks at it. I once heard on a Discovery Channel program about dolphins that dolphins and humans are the only animals that actually recognize their reflection for what it is. Other animals get confused by it, thinking it is another animal.

"The problematic reflection is on the outside surface of the window, so changes made inside the house will be useless. The only way to dissuade the bird is to dull, break up or eliminate the reflection on the exterior surface of the window. Spray the window with glass-wax (fake snow), tape up newspaper, cardboard or similar material over the window, put up screening, or drape half-inch-mesh garden netting in front of the window. Leave the material up for at least two or three weeks. Remember to put the material on the outside of the window. After a few weeks, the bird should get out of the habit of finding a "rival" at that location. The sooner you eliminate the reflection, the easier it will be to break the habit. If you've noticed the bird using a favorite perch or two while watching the window, try removing those perches, or blocking access to them temporarily. If you have a large house with many wide expanses of plate glass, you are may have a correspondingly large problem - especially if the bird has already developed the habit of going from window to window, finding its reflection at each one. But usually, the bird will have a "favorite" window; try your countermeasures there first."

Paula Z Powell (Central) Ohio


From: Burnham, Barbara [mailto:Barbara.Burnham"at"zzz.zzz]
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 7:02 AM
RE: Need help to end EABL bazaar behavior

Joe, We had a male EABL who enjoyed batting windows for hours on end. On our patio door, we lightly smeared toothpaste with a wet sponge to remove the reflection. It worked great, and was easy to clean off with plain water. But the bird simply moved to the neighbor's window. That male EABL was with us for 3 years, and the behavior never stopped. I suspect that this behavior was eventually noticed by a hawk. Another trick that works very well is a color picture of a native owl or hawk. We used a life-size color copy of a local barred owl, taped inside a window, to deter house finches from building in a porch light. They perched nearby and scolded for an hour, then built elsewhere. The barred owl picture also kept the EABL away from our decorative window that was up high and difficult to clean. I offered the picture to our neighbor, but they said "no thanks," as their 2-year-old enjoys watching the bird and cries when the bird leaves. Hope this helps. Do your neighbors feed the birds? Barbara Burnham Ellicott City, MD


From: Joe Huber [mailto:hubertrap"at"webtv.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 7:36 AM
Re: Need help to end EABL bazaar behavior

Hi Joe, This sounds like the typical bluebird,window confrontation,where the bird sees his reflection in the glass of the door and feels its a competitor. Something about you being out there in the yard causes this bluebird to return to that patio door to check on a rival bird (which is himself) I recall a case in Ohio where this bluebird fought with its reflection in a truck mirror and messed up the mirror in the process.

The only real solution is time,but you can try covering up the area of the glass where the bluebird spends most of its time. In most cases the bird will get over this as it becomes more involved in nesting. Good luck on the outcome. Joe Huber, Venice Florida, formerly Heath Ohio



From: KCBSP"at"aol.com [mailto:KCBSP"at"aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 8:29 AM
Subject: Re: Need help to end Bazaar EABL Behavior

...and chimpanzees too!! 

From: Shane&Emily Marcotte [mailto:marco50"at"bellsouth.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 5:03 PM
Re: Need help to end

Bazaar EABL Behavior Do some research and you'll find that Elephants also can do this!!Just wanted to add........it was part of the answer to a trivia question in some book I read recently. Shane Marcotte Watson Louisiana


From: Cher [mailto:bluebirdnut"at"a-znet.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 8:41 AM
Subject: Re: Need help to end EABL bazaar behavior

A heads-up on another hazard of this type of behavior -- I heard recently about someone who had the heartbreak of finding the female of their nesting pair, with a history of this kind of window-pecking behavior, dead inside their car. One of the windows was open just a crack, and the bird evidently attacked the car window, found the opening, and flew in to "get" the competitor, then couldn't fly out. It was very sad. Cher


From: Joe Baker [mailto:rok90"at"adelphia.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 10:11 AM
Subject: Re: Need help to end bazaar EABL behavior.

Thanks to Wendell, Dot, Paula, Barbara, Joe, Cher, and all who have responded to my plea for help. The alteration of the reflective surface of the glass would be a consideration if the door glass were mine, but it being the neighbor's glass makes it a different ballgame.  To ask the neighbor to help solve a problem I have created is not an appealing solution.  Chances are good that it would be a temporary fix at best, as the problem is exacerbated by the fact that my EABLs eat their food, that I provide them, on my neighbor's patio. (Now that I think about it, I guess that's basically what patios are for, right?).  And, the really big mystery is why the male EABL seeks out a reflective "competitor" in the glass each time I am around his nestbox?  For the answer, I guess you would just have to ask another bluebird.:-)  Today I will move the nestbox out of sight of the patio. (Sorry, Wendell, I know your approach would be to ask the neighbor to move their patio).  If my moving the nestbox doesn't solve the problem,  well........does anyone know if "exorcism" is effective on birds?  I will keep you posted.  Thanks again, all.  Joe Baker SW VA


From: Debby Cooper [mailto:debbycooper"at"mindspring.com]
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2004 2:18 PM
Subject: Help w/ BB Behavior, Droppings, Pecking

Hi all. I am new to this list, so I apologize if this question has been addressed recently. I did search the FAQs and other sources first. We have had bluebirds nesting in our back yard for about 3 years now, which is great. The problem is that they make a huge mess of our front porch, right at the front door, leaving droppings that are unsightly. Of course, we are concerned about the potential for disease as well. The other problem, which is related to the first, is that when they see their reflection in our front porch windows, they seem to think it is another bird, and they peck and fly at the windows, creating a lot of noise. And they leave their droppings. They wake us up every morning.

This does not happen only in mating season, but nearly all year round. They also leave berries on the ledges. This all happens at our unscreened window areas, such as at the transom windows or the palladian window over our front door.

We covered the transom windows with a frosted plastic material, and now they no longer peck at those windows.

But they are still active at the palladian window, where they peck and leave their droppings. We would prefer to not have to cover all our windows! And I would love to be able to uncover the transom windows and the bathroom window. We tried putting carpet tack strips on the window ledge over the front door, but it has not made a difference. We are also trying double-sided tape to create a sticky landing area, but this seems to have made little difference so far. Again, the plastic material seems to work, but we would prefer to not cover our windows. We adore our bluebirds, but we (especially my husband, the clean-up guy) are at the end of our tethers. Any ideas? John and Debby Atlanta, GA


From: Bruce Burdett [mailto:blueburd"at"tds.net]
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2004 9:38 PM
Re: Help w/ BB Behavior, Droppings, Pecking

Debby, Where is your Bluebirds' house with relation to your porch and your house? It sounds as though it must be pretty close. I would never put up a house much closer than about a hundred feet or so from a building. Do these Bluebirds make a mess on your porch every year? Why do they come to the porch? My first suggestion is that you should move your box(es) to a safe distance away from the house. Bruce Burdett, SW NH


From: Keith & Sandy Kridler [mailto:txbluebirder"at"sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 8:40 AM
Re:Help with BB behavior Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

Bluebirds attacking their own reflection in windows is VERY common. This can go on for years as long as the same pair lives in the same area. Bluebirds attack their reflection in the windows or car mirrors that are closest to their nestbox or feeding territory.

When this gets out of control you can try placing a mirror right on or very near their nestbox. They think that the bluebirds competing with them at the house windows have now moved to take over their nestbox. They should attack this new mirror and leave the windows alone. Very often birds distracted like this will become a meal for a predator.

Bluebirds can and do ruin paint jobs on cars! We get more calls each year on how to deal with this "problem" than we do on how to "attract" bluebirds. I think there is an article in Birds and Bloom this month on this subject.

In some of the magazines they have a battery powered motion detector that hooks up to your water hose. When a cat or dog breaks the beam the water valve opens and sprays out about 1/2 gallon of water scaring the cat or dog or coon ETC away. I am not sure that this would work with the bluebirds (because they may be too small to trigger the device) but most animals do NOT like to be sprayed with water. A life size poster of your husband holding a water hose stationed on your front porch might work at repelling the bluebirds:-))). KK


From: Bet Zimmerman [mailto:ezdz"at"charter.net]
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 9:37 AM
Subject: Window strikes

Audubon (March 2004) had a good article about window strikes by David Malakoff, which according to the article kill between 100 million and 1 billion birds in North America each year. Advice:

1. Put bird feeders within 3 feet of windows: at this distance, cirds aren't moving fast enough to get hurt.

2. Hang objects in front of the glass: tree limbs, strips of cloth or shiny materials, old CDs, toilet-paper rolls, or feathers on a string. For more info, go to www.rlrouse.com/window-protector.html

3. Spray the glass with vegetable oil (ick) or fake snow to make it opaque. Or stick on plastic warp. Consider products used on greenhouses to make glass translucent.

4. Put decals - including dots or bird silhouettes-on the outer glass face. Space decals uniformly, two to four inches apart, to transform the window into an obstacle birds will see and avoid. Decals can be purchased at www.wpines.com.

5. Hang netting, or buy special see through screens. Also consider installing awnings that can be lowered when you go to bed or raised when you want a view.

Bet from CT


From: Burnham, Barbara [mailto:Barbara.Burnham"at"zzz.zzz]
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 10:52 AM
RE: Help w/ BB Behavior, Droppings, Pecking

Debby, We had a male EABL who enjoyed batting windows for hours on end. On our patio door, we lightly smeared toothpaste with a wet sponge to remove the reflection. It worked great, and was easy to clean off with plain water. But the bird simply moved to the neighbor's window. That male EABL was with us for 3 years, and the behavior never stopped. I suspect that this behavior was eventually noticed by a hawk, as he disappeared early this Spring. (We miss him terribly. We made so many jokes about him "working out" and then admiring his buff reflection, after a sauna in the heated bath with the girls.) Another trick that works very well is a color picture of a native owl or hawk. We used a life-size color copy of a local barred owl, taped inside a window, to deter house finches from building their nest in a porch light. They perched nearby and scolded for an hour, then built their nest elsewhere. The barred owl picture also kept the EABL away from our decorative window that was up high and difficult to clean. I offered the picture to our neighbor, but they said "no thanks," as their 2-year-old enjoys watching the bird, and cries when the bird leaves (maybe a future bluebirder!) This could work well, but if their nest site is near your house, don't overdo it, or the pair may abandon your site. Do you feed the birds? If so, this will definitely increase their territorial behavior, as they will be defending their food sources.

PLEASE do NOT use anything that may harm the birds like sticky tape. If you would like to try an owl picture, I will mail you one (send your address). It worked VERY well for me, but you must decide how/when to use it. We decided we enjoyed the bluebirds so much, we tolerated it. And we felt he was safer at our house than at the neighbors' who would not appreciate the mess of "our" bluebirds. Life is short, especially for the bluebirds. Hope this helps. Barbara Burnham Ellicott City, MD


From: Bruce Burdett [mailto:blueburd"at"tds.net]
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 3:32 PM
Re: Help w/ BB Behavior, Droppings, Pecking

Debby, et al, None of my 72 houses is within sight of our house, so for me, "easy observation" is out of the question. I have to get in the car and drive anywhere from 500 feet to maybe 3 or 4 miles in order to do my monitoring. I've never had Bluebirds or any birds make a mess on our house or grounds. But I do have a Chickadee right now who spends a lot of time banging at our north, east and west windows. He's been at it, off and on, for several weeks. ... Bruce Burdett


From: jwick"at"tds.net [mailto:jwick"at"tds.net]
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 1:00 PM
Re: Window strikes

I have an addition to your list: DON'T WASH YOUR WINDOWS SO OFTEN................!!!!!! ~Ann Wick Black Earth, WI


From: Larry and Janet Ellis [mailto:lajan89"at"compu.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2004 4:57 PM
Subject: Bluebird at my window

We have been raising bluebirds for a few years, but this is a first for us - a young one is insisting on staying on the windows and screens, pecking at the glass, etc. At first it was interesting, now the droppings are becoming a nuisance. What is causing this and is there anything we can do to deter this activity? Larry and Jan -


From: Kenny Kleinpeter [mailto:kpkmajk"at"cox.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2004 6:09 PM
RE: Bluebird at my window Find some way to block its image from its own view.

-Kenny Kleinpeter Baton Rouge, LA


From: Burnham, Barbara
Sent: Friday, June 25, 2004 7:17 AM
RE: Bluebird at my window

Larry and Jan, We had a bluebird male who liked to bat the windows. He and his mate were with us (nesting in a backyard nestbox) for 3 years. He might tire himself out, but he won't hurt himself. Female bluebirds will do this sometimes, too. They think the reflection is a competitor invading their territory. Their nest is probably nearby. They usually stop this behavior when nesting ceases (but our bluebird did this all year around). Here are two things which have worked for me: Using a damp sponge, lightly smear toothpaste (not gel) on the outside of the window. Just enough to blur the reflection. It won't scratch the glass and is easy to remove with a sponge and water. He will probably move to another window, however. For a higher up window I could not reach, I made a color copy of a local barred owl, and taped it inside the window. He took one look at that and spun around the other way. He never bothered that window again, although I have removed the picture. Our bluebird also batted the neighbor's window. I offered an owl picture, but they said no, their 2-year-old loves to watch the bird, and cries when the bird leaves (surely a future bluebirder). We enjoyed the bluebirds so much, and they brought so much joy to our lives, we tolerated this behavior. Life is too short, especially for the bluebirds. We made jokes about him "working out" and admiring his buff reflection, before joining the girls in the sauna (heated birdbath). We are sure his silly behavior eventually attracted the attention of a hawk when he disappeared early this spring. Barbara Burnham Ellicott City, MD


From: Kenny Kleinpeter [mailto:kpkmajk"at"cox.net]
Sent: Friday, June 25, 2004 9:35 AM
RE: Bluebird at my window

I had a bluebird and a cardinal that left beak marks mixed with blood all along the windows they pecked. That's when I decided this was not cute or funny or merely a casual distraction for the birds. The energy that is spent in this "do or die" battle for territory is taken from feeding, feeding a mate or feeding nestlings or defending territory from real competitors or predators. Considering all the time and effort we put forth helping birds improve their breeding success, it's surely compelling that we prevent this convoluted activity just as much as we encourage other activity such as providing mealworms or nestboxes, etc. Birds are not particularly bright; they are programmed to behave in ways that have served them timelessly well -- that is, until the most invasive of species, humans took over. Our windows are just one of many human encroachments that "short circuit" their behaviors. It seems that we have a responsibility to minimize as many of these as possible. A shade cloth over the lower parts of the offending windows for just a while did the trick. Kenny Kleinpeter Baton Rouge, LA Member, La. Bayou Bluebird Society


From: Kate Arnold [mailto:bbnestbox"at"1starnet.com]
Sent: Sunday, June 27, 2004 12:45 PM
RE: Bluebird at my window

At work, mockingbirds pecked at the windows which had a reflective film to keep some heat out of the building. We had the janitor buy some rubber snakes which he placed on the top of the window frames and the window pecking stopped. Kate Arnold Paris, TX


From: Elizabeth Zimmerman [mailto:ezdz"at"charter.net]
Sent: Monday, November 01, 2004 8:00 AM
Subject: Window collision advice

This is a good idea from the link Evelyn provided on feeding: http://magazine.audubon.org/backyard/backyard0001.html
How can I stop birds from crashing into my windows? A recent study found this to be the most common cause of death associated with feeders (about 1 to 10 deaths per building each year). Falcon silhouettes attached to windows seem to have little effect. Fruit-tree netting stretched taut several inches in front of the glass is the best approach.

Bet from CT


From: Dottie, Hickory Hollow, Brown County, Indiana [mailto:yumyumkatts"at"voyager.net]
Sent: Monday, November 01, 2004 8:57 PM
Subject: Re: Window collision advice

I use window clings and they work great.   I have huge windows on three floors.   I use holiday window clings and they don't distort the view at all. Right now I have fall leaves all over them.   Next month I'll take down the fall leaves and use snowflakes.  I'll leave them up until Valentines and then I use hearts and cupids.   Easter I use Easter eggs, etc.   After that comes our flag and 4th of July type of things.   They stay on until time for fall leaves again. You can use them over and over.   I get mine at Menards hardware for 89 cents or for 50 cents at after holiday sales. When I wash windows, I wash right over them unless it's time to change again. My feeders are very close to my windows on the bottom floor.
Dottie, Hickory Hollow
  Brown County, Indiana


From: Lawrence Herbert [mailto:lherbert"at"4state.com]
Sent: Monday, November 01, 2004 5:41 PM
Subject: problems at feeders

If the number one problem at feeder shelves is: collision with glass, then the number two problem may be: pathogens. Keep the feeders clean, and the seed/offering fresh and dry. Clean often. Let's guess what the number three problem could be...... Has anyone observed/heard of any of our three bluebird species colliding with glass at the feeder stations? (Off season bluebirding topics). Good birding, Larry H. Joplin (sw) MO.


From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Monday, November 01, 2004 6:55 PM
RE: problems at feeders

Me. My feeder is in the backyard not far from my glass den door. A lot of the birds eat seed off the ground. Some did get startled and flew directly into the glass door. It stunned them but they were up and off in a minute or two. Evelyn



From: JOHN & BARBARA SIBIO [mailto:jsibio"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2005 1:38 PM
Subject: Birds and reflections

I have a pair of WEBL busy building a nest in one of my nestboxes. They have been around here all winter and have driven off at least one other pair recently. This morning they are in my front yard flying at the front windows fighting their reflections! This is a first -- usually I have birds hitting my patio door, (which is a much larger expanse of glass). I solved the back door problem by putting up a screen door and keeping it closed; they still fly at it, but hit the soft screen instead of the hard glass. I'm surprised they are defending the front yard, since the nestboxes are in the back of the house and can't be seen from the front. I guess the entire lot is theirs now.

WBU sells vinyl hawk silhouettes which I've used for years, so I dug them out and put them on my front windows. I'm hoping this helps! There are screens on these windows, but only on the lower halves, and I found tiny facial feathers stuck to the upper glass from the attacks. I've only had birds fly into the windows before, but haven't had them attacking their reflections until today.

The season has begun in earnest, and our unusually warm weather has gone, with rain forecast for the weekend. This is how we lose chicks in the first nesting, but so far we're just in the nest construction phase. I'll check the box tomorrow to see how far along things are...I don't think there are any eggs yet as both birds are out and about.

Barbara in Cloverdale, CA


From: Bet Zimmerman [mailto:ezdz "at"charter.net]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2005 5:09 PM
Subject: Preventing window strikes

Since it’s that time of year again, I posted a new webpage on preventing birds from crashing into windows. See http://www.sialis.org/windowstrikes.htm

Any input on what techniques are MOST effective would be welcome – I used everything posted on the Best of Bluebird_L archives and more stuff I found in articles. Seems like netting is the only one folks say is pretty much 100% effective.

Bet from CT



From: Lynn Emerich [mailto:lemerich "at"epix.net]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2005 6:04 PM
Subject: Re: Preventing window strikes

Bet and all, I have several fatalities a year due to birds crashing into my patio doors. I did have a problem with cardinals attacking several regular windows. I tried the stick ons, mylars, tape. and many other things. I taped newspaper on the window, but the bird could still see his reflection. I taped it on the outside of the window and the cardinal actually tore off the newspaper to attack his reflection. On one window I hung an old storm window screen, I only had one and it did work. I found an old volley ball net in my shed which I draped around the other window and that did the trick. Bird could see the netting so he never got tangled.
On my patio door, the only thing that works is to close the vertical blinds and partially close them. All other things have failed. I don't want to move the feeders or I can't see the birds. Last summer, twice in one day, as I was sitting just inside the window, a sharp shinned hawk hit the window. He did manage to slow down at the last second and hit the window with his talons, so he wasnt hurt.. Neat looking bird.

Lynn near Bernville PA.


From: Bet Zimmerman [mailto:ezdz "at"charter.net]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2005 6:33 PM
Subject: RE: Preventing window strikes

Thanks for the info Lynn. I wonder why closing the vertical blinds worked – was it because they weren’t seeing a reflection but thought they could fly through it?

Have you tried moving the feeders CLOSER to the windows? 3 feet – that way if they can’t get up enough speed to hurt themselves when they hit the window if they are startled.

Bet



From: Lynn Emerich [mailto:lemerich "at"epix.net]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2005 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: Preventing window strikes

Bet, The verticals probably broke up the open space look they got with everything wide open. Depending on the time of year and the time of day, it does look like it's wide open. As soon as the sun gets to a certain point, the wide open look (reflectios) goes away. The old window screens, hung loosely so they move, and the netting worked better than anything else. I have about 6 pairs of cardinals and so far none has attacked.

Lynn



From: Keith & Sandy Kridler [mailto:txbluebirder"at"sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Sunday, April 24, 2005 9:18 AM
Subject: Bluejays pecking houses

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
Shawn and I were gone from 5 AM yesterday till 6 PM last evening working a Texas Forestry event 100 miles south of my home. Don Hutchings a nearby bluebird expert and friend mentioned OFTEN in The Bluebird Monitor's Guide drove 6 hours west Saturday to work an event at Possum Kingdom Lake in West Central Texas so we were exporting bluebird information from Northeast Texas to other parts of the state yesterday:-))

I had more people come by our displays wanting help at getting RID of bluebirds than I had NEW people WANTING to attract bluebirds. One lady had built up a population of bluebirds in her yard to the point that they "ruined" all of the windows in her house attacking their reflections, she claimed they actually scratched the glass! Two more told horror stories about "mad" bluebirds attacking all the side mirrors on their vehicles, even entering open windows and white washing dashboards with feces....

Other people sympathetic to this problem, over hearing the conversation simply said they needed to keep plastic grocery bags tied over car mirrors during the summer months or hang up hundreds of feet of "Bird netting" over all their house windows.... Others said, "Hanging "walls" of plastic bird netting around porches or the eave overhangs on your house also prevent Barn Swallows and Eastern Phoebe's from building nests attached to your house."
Hang enough bird netting up and you also stop woodpeckers from reaching the siding. Be CAREFUL! Your friends/neighbors might think you are insane!

Anyway Cornell printed an article last year or the year before about Bluejays pecking the peeling paint off of people houses. REALLY old houses were "white washed" with lime or Calcium Carbonate. Today many people put out egg shells near their homes for birds, crushed eggshells look like flakes of paint. Eggshells are mostly calcium. In the spring birds need calcium. Most paints today contain Titanium Dioxide for "white" pigment where in the past lead oxide was used as a pigment or a catalyst/carrier necessary at the time for many of the different paint colors and increased durability of paints. If your house is older than 1960 you probably have lead based paint on or in it.

Anyway bluejays were being reported to Cornell through Project Feeder Watch and other channels as gobbling up paint chips. Some jays were pecking them right off the house! Watch for bluejays or other birds this spring picking up these chips from roof tops or other areas where chipped paint accumulates around your house or your neighbors. Now is also a good time to mix finely crushed oyster shells in with your bird seed, you can buy bags of oyster shells at farm feed stores.

If your soils are acid, snails and other insects have a hard time collecting enough calcium from the plants they eat to form thick shells or to get enough calcium in their system to pass on this calcium when a bird eats them! In the south eastern states you need to get a soil sample and probably add lime (calcium carbonate) to your soil to improve the utilization of fertilizer and mineral uptake in plants. If you live on limestone soils you need to add sulfur to bring the soil to neutral PH. Plants that have good fertilizer and optimum mineral content are more attractive to animals and insects that will eat these! Nothing like a really healthy garden, yard or weed patch to bring in the deer and insects! KK


From: Bernie Daniel [mailto:bdaniel"at"cinci.rr.com]
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2005 7:23 AM
Subject: Re: Bluejays pecking houses

Keith --

Before the concern about Blue Jays pecking water-based latex house paint chips starts --- this might be of interest:

Summary on Health/Toxicity/Environmental effects of titanium/titanium dioxide:
Elemental titanium and titanium dioxide is of a low order of toxicity. Rats exposed to titanium dioxide via inhalation have developed small-localized areas of dark-colored dust deposits in the lungs. Excessive exposure in humans may result in slight changes in the lungs. (P.S. These last set of studies on human lungs were conducted by a former colleague of mine at the National Institue of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) -- the changes are not considered to be of great concern as regards health of the individual.)
Effects of overexposure to titanium powder (this would only be in an industrial setting): Dust inhalation may cause tightness and pain in chest, coughing, and difficulty in breathing. Contact with skin or eyes may cause irritation. Routes of entry: Inhalation, skin contact, eye contact. The inhalation route is not at issue here -- birds would be exposed via the oral route.
Carcinogenicity: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has listed titanium dioxide within Group 3 (The agent is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.) No USA data that I know of either.
Environmental Effects of Titanium/titanium dioxide: Very low toxicity. No environmental effects have been reported.

Note: Birds NEED to eat sand/grit/small stones/ shells etc for proper digestion. If your house is painted with latex paint this is not an issue for the birds -- it is an issue for you --- you need to re-paint your house!
If your house IS painted with lead-based paints it is something you might want to look in to.
Bernie


From: agriffee [mailto:agriffee"at"adelphia.net]
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2005 8:24 PM
Subject: BB Confusion

Several years ago before I ever built a BB box, we had a pair nest in a big tree in our back yard. Never saw any babies as this pair were way up high, 30 feet or more. But we missed one bird at some point when the other one kept ramming our windows in back of house. Bird would crash a window, sit on window sill and ram the window over & over. Did this at three of large windows at back of house.

We thought the bird saw its reflection and thought the reflection was its mate. Couldn't get the bird to stop, guess it finally killed itself. Don't know for sure.

Was reading when preparing to build a feeder box with Plexiglas sides that BB get confused with glass and maybe that was the situation here. We could have put paper inside windows and maybe would have stopped the bird.

That's why I'm trying to get new BB boxes right this time and consequently all the questions.

Arnold, Kentucky



From: Burnham, Barbara [mailto:Barbara.Burnham"at"zzz.zzz]
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2005 7:59 AM
Subject: RE: BB Confusion

Arnold,

Most birds will stop this behavior after nesting season. But we had a male bluebird who fought with his reflection every day for hours at a time, winter and summer, for 3 straight years. We tried lots of things to remove the reflection, but he would just move to another window, so we learned to laugh at it and let him do his thing. (Eventually I believe this behavior was noticed by a hawk who took advantage of his distraction).

There is lots of information about birds fighting window reflections (and accidental window strikes) here at Best of Bluebird-L:
http://www.bestofbbml.audubon-omaha.org/window_strikes.htm
<http://www.bestofbbml.audubon-omaha.org/window_strikes.htm>

Barbara Burnham
Ellicott City, MD



From: Burnham, Barbara [mailto:Barbara.Burnham"at"zzz.zzz]
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 8:04 AM
Subject: RE: question about BB behavior

Jay/Wendell, This male bluebird constantly fights with his reflection in our patio door.
Sometimes he tires himself out, and will stand on the ground with his beak open, out of breath and panting:
http://community.webshots.com/album/380148877TEZKTs

(We think this might be the same bird that went missing a year ago, recently returned. He does this all day long, dawn to dusk, constantly singing/warbling, with one eye on the nestbox in the backyard and the other eye on his "competitor." He doesn't even leave the patio door when people go in and out. We wonder when he has time to eat.)

(do not archive)

Barbara Burnham
Ellicott City, MD



From: Burnham, Barbara [mailto:Barbara.Burnham"at"zzz.zzz]
Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 8:27 AM
Subject: Bluebird batting windows

Hi Bet, how nice to hear from you. I so admire all you do for the birds (and the people who host them).

The last time we had this problem, I toothpasted the patio door. It worked, but he simply went to the neighbors' windows, and they didn't appreciate it.
(Although nobody complained, the left neighbor has 9 indoor cats that go bonkers over it. The right neighbor got an expensive fake owl to "decorate"
their deck--is that a hint?) It is messy on the glass and below. We don't mind the mess, and we would rather him be here at our patio door, and he can be in view of his nestbox. If he went to upper windows (difficult to clean even with a ladder) DH would be very unhappy.

The last time this happened, the window batting went on daily for almost 3 years, winter and summer. We did try a life-size picture of a barred owl taped inside one window, and he avoided that window. But I had to clean the toothpaste off "his" preferred patio door, or he just went elsewhere. After almost 3 years, in March 2004, he disappeared. And we certainly missed him.

The bluebird that recently arrived (same bird?) is so used to humans, we can be within 2 feet and he doesn't fly away. He actually wing waves at us, even visitors. He will perch close by and warble back and forth as if he knows you are talking to him and he is talking back, wing waving the whole time.

As far as injuring himself, we are WAY more concerned about predators noticing his behavior.
When he perches on the dark screen, you can barely see him, so he's somewhat camouflaged then. But I'm convinced--through experience--he's not going to stop. He is going to do this somewhere, and he's probably safer here than anywhere else, and certainly more welcome, even if he is crazy. But let's hope this is not a genetic trait.

Barbara Burnham



From: Laurel Baty [mailto:laurelbaty"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 10:31 AM
Subject: Re: Bluebird batting windows

Hi Barbara,
I wonder if you could have my bluebird! We had a male for two years who was also obsessed with windows. He loved to perch on my neighbors satellite dish and fly at their basement patio door. He especially loved to cling to their screen. He would also occasionally fly at our windows and often clung to the screen. He was very friendly and a big wing waver! We feed out bluebirds mealworms and they are very used to people--generally I put the worms right outside on our deck and the birds eat just a few inches away from me.

We have a new male this year--I am not sure that the female is new. The new male actually helped feed the one baby the birds raised--the other male rarely had time to assist in raising his young! The new male also mate feeds the female and is very attentive to her. Unfortunately I think he may also be sterile since only 1 out of the 10 eggs hatched. The female is sitting on 5 more eggs--we will see what happens!
Laurel in Columbia, Maryland


From: Trish Culpepper [mailto:trishkcully"at"earthlink.net]
Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 11:50 AM
Subject: Re: Bluebird batting windows

Trish - Frankston, TX
Why do the bluebirds do this? Did I read it is primarily during mating
season?



From: Bet Zimmerman [mailto:ezdz"at"charter.net]
Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 12:09 PM
Subject: RE: Bluebird batting windows

Birds collide with glass for three reasons. I think Barbara's bird has gonad issues.

They:
- can not see the glass at all because it is transparent (especially a problem with two windows or a window and mirror opposite each other, creating a"corridor effect")
- see a reflection of the outdoors, and try to fly through what looks like unobstructed open space (the "mirror effect"), or
- are attempting to defend their territory from a perceived intruder - their own reflection ("territorial strikes"). Bluebirds, cardinals, and robins typically do this. Territorial window strikes are more common in springtime, but may occur year round. During the fall, male birds often get a second flush of testosterone (called "gonadal recrudescence"). Some bluebirds are just "nosey," or will come to the window to beg for mealworms, but do not crash into it.

One of my favorite archive posts on this was Bruce Burdett's comment: "Sometimes they don't stop for a long time and seem determined to brain themselves. I wonder if birds ever become self-destructively psychotic. Some of these head-bangers act as though they've really lost it. They slam themselves into the glass all day long and seem to find no time to eat or tend to their reproductive responsibilities."

Bet from CT
More info at http://www.sialis.org/windowstrikes.htm



From: happywebl"at"comcast.net [mailto:happywebl"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 1:57 PM
Subject: Birds and windows

My screens are on the outside of the windows, which prevents the birds from actually touching the glass. However, the windows slide sideways, so half my windows don't have screens. I've been successful with vinyl silhouettes of hawks which just stick to the window. I've also used little "suncatchers" which hang from a suction cup.

My biggest problem is birds flying into my windows in the summer; usually it's a juvenile just out of the nest and I've had several fatalities because of this. The hawk silhouette seems to work best for this problem, but doesn't stop it completely. The screens are the best solution, as the bird is cushioned if it does try to fly into the window. I've thought of hanging some kind of sheer fabric over my larger glass areas, like the sliding doors.

Anyone else come up with a cheap, easy, solution?

Barbara in Cloverdale, CA



From: BowmanMail"at"aol.com [mailto:BowmanMail"at"aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 6:26 PM
Subject: Re: Birds and windows

I use decals on my patio doors, and my next door neighbor uses them on her
big picture window and patio doors. Go to http://www.wpines.com/WindowDecals/
I spent about $40.00 for the decals.

There are other companies on the web that offer decals.

Nancy Bowman
E. Windsor, NJ


From: Lynn Emerich [mailto:lemerich"at"epix.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 6:56 PM
Subject: Re: Birds and windows

I have tried paper, fabric, hawk decals, snakes, and owls. Other than the netting I mentioned, on another window I used an old screen and hung it loosely on the outside of the window. That stopped them. When these crazy bird get the fever, they mean business. In my area of PA, cardinal seem to be the worst. I heard of robins doing the same thing, but haven't had a problem - yet. Cardinal will also hit the sideview mirrow on you car and if your bumpers are shiney, they wil hit them. It's their reflection their after, thinking it's another bird. My patio door has two hawk decals on it and several time a year I will find a dead sparrow or finch on the patio. They hit the door within inches of the decals.
One other thing you could try - if you got or use any of the holiday bags with the psycodelic colors, try strip of that material hund from the window. The colors are supposed to confuse the birds. It didn't work in my case.

Lynn



From: BowmanMail"at"aol.com [mailto:BowmanMail"at"aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 7:05 PM
Subject: Re: Birds and windows

The decals I suggest are white, and that seems to make a difference.


From: Lynn Emerich [mailto:lemerich"at"epix.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 7:07 PM
Subject: Re: Birds and windows

If you use any kind of covering on the windows, it will have to be on the outside. Putting on the inside, which I found out, you can sill see your reflection from the outside.

Lynn



From: lviolett [mailto:lviolett"at"earthlink.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 10:49 PM
Subject: Re: Birds and windows

To keep birds from flying into windows at my mountain cabin, large branches were hauled up and fastened to outdoor beams above the windows at each side.
Then the huge branches were pulled together and fastened at the center to cover the expanse of the large windows.

This was done on a weekend after multiple bird fatalities occurred. The cabin has wonderful large upper windows under a peaked roof over the front door and back slider. To birds, it looks like an open pass through and they were zooming into the windows at deadly speeds. After branches were draped across the windows, birds would still fly toward the windows but at a slower speed as if to negotiate a path through the branches. This slowing of flight gave them time to swerve and/or attempt landing on the branches.
Steller Jays later learned to sit on the branches and stare in at us for long periods of time (people watching).

Those branches put an end to all bird fatalities. However, the branches were eventually removed because of spousal pressure (something about our
cabin looking like year around Halloween). Instead, plastic Christmas
garlands were draped across the windows (year around plastic Christmas was OK to the spouse). With garlands, some fatalities and injuries occurred because some birds will try to fly between the draped garland loops.

Purchased hawk silhouettes, by the way, had been ineffective on the large windows. And huge home-made owl silhouettes out of paper bags had the same ineffective results.

If I were to purchase something for moving sliding doors and windows, it would be the window "spider webs."

Linda Violett
Yorba Linda (and Big Bear), Calif.



From: Dottie, Hickory Hollow, Brown County, Indiana [mailto:yumyumkatts"at"voyager.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 11:00 AM
Subject: Questions to BBL
...

2) Has anybody found an effective, cost-friendly way to discourage male songbirds from pecking on their house windows?
Thanks



From: Kathleen Arnold [mailto:koscharn"at"cox.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 11:04 AM
Subject: RE: Questions to BBL--Birds Pecking on Window

At the last place I worked, we had mockingbirds and bluebirds fight with their reflections in the window. These windows had a mirror-like film on them. The janitor went to the dollar store and bought some small fake snakes and draped them on the top of the window frame so they hung down just a little, and the pecking stopped.

Kate Arnold
Paris, TX



From: Lynn Emerich [mailto:lemerich"at"epix.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 11:09 AM
Subject: Re: Questions to BBL

I had a a pair of cardinal driving me crazy a while back. The male would peck at the bedroom window around 5am and the female would peck at the family room window on the other sice of the house. I taped newpaper on the inside of the window to hide the reflection. They are protecting their territory and think they see another bird. The newpaper didn't work, co I cover the window with paper on the outside. The cardinal actually ripped off the paper and started again. I tried streamers, pinwheels and lots of other tricks. Finally I found an old worn out volley ball new and hung it in front of the window. No cardinals since. The net was hung from the top of the storm window and angled out about 6 inches at the bottom.

Lynn



Continued on Part 2


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If you are the author of a posting and would like to see a particular post (or posts) removed from these web pages, please contact me with the web page address, title of post, and date and time of the post(s), and I will remove whatever material you like.  If you have a different opinion from one posted here, you need not contact me, as often I will have a different opinion too. The intent is to try and provide both sides to the issues facing bluebirders, and to do so in an impartial and objective manner.
If you have problems, encounter broken links (unless they are within an e-mail thread, as I do not maintain those links), or have suggestions on how the site can be improved to make it more useful, please contact the Best of Bluebird-L Classifieds webmaster
Website design by Chimalis

 

ss, replacing "at" with the "at" symbol (above the number 2 on your keyboard). (This change was made to discourage spammers.)
If you are the author of a posting and would like to see a particular post (or posts) removed from these web pages, please contact me with the page AND date of the post(s), and I will remove whatever material you like.  If you have a different opinion from one posted here, you need not contact me, as often I will have a different opinion too. The intent is to try and provide both sides to the issues facing bluebirders, and to do so in an impartial and objective manner.
If you have problems, encounter broken links (unless they are within an e-mail thread, as I do not maintain those links), or have suggestions on how the site can be improved to make it more useful, please contact the Best of Bluebird-L Classifieds webmaster
Website design by Chimalis