My own personal bird alarm clock-- isn't nature beautiful?
November 8, 2012 1:17 PM   Subscribe

How can I stop this stupid cardinal from repeatedly throwing himself at my bedroom window?

I have a male cardinal who has recently taken to hanging out in the small tree outside my bedroom window and eating the pokeweed berries on the bush there. Which is fine, except that each morning sometime between 6:30-8 am he begins repeatedly throwing himself against the window glass, presumably attacking his reflection.

He doesn't do it hard enough to hurt himself (yet)-- the tree he's starting from is only about a foot away. But it is definitely loud enough to wake me up and he does it several times a minute off and on for an hour or two.

I don't want him to hurt himself, and I'd also love to stay snuggled in my bed a little later.

I put up a hawk silhouette on the glass, which doesn't seem to phase him in the least. What else can I do to make him stop??
posted by geegollygosh to Science & Nature (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Mod a Cat Silhouette with moving sparkly eyes* and a fan to move it about.

* punch holes larger than sparkly gems, thread in sparkly gems on string as eyes
posted by tilde at 1:25 PM on November 8, 2012

Since it's his reflection, I'd say go out and buy a can of that window flocking that the sell around Christmas (apparently that's NOW based on the Christmas music playing every-damn-where.)

Spray the outside of the window. No reflection, no problem.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:27 PM on November 8, 2012

Advice from the Audubon Society in LifeHacker:
Decals of hawks or other raptors are not particularly successful, unless the decals are spaced very closely—and then it doesn't really matter if they are of birds of prey or an abstract design.

Some suggestions for temporary or seasonal fixes....
  • Place vertical tape strips at a maximum of 4 inches apart or horizontal strips a maximum of 2 inches apart. ABC BirdTape is long-lasting and more aesthetically pleasing than masking tape or electrical tape, though all are effective. Be sure to place the tape on the outside of the window for maximum effectiveness.
  • Soap windows, or use window paints or tempera paints to obscure most of window.
  • Purchase or make your own window gel clings. Be sure to space them no more than 4 inches apart horizontally and 2 inches apart vertically.
  • Draw blinds and move indoor plants away from windows. This will not work if there are strong reflections of the landscape in the window.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:30 PM on November 8, 2012 [6 favorites]

I temporarily used bird netting, which is a plastic mesh. I used a piece large enough to cover where the bird was lunging. I hung it close enough to the window that the bird should not have been able to get stuck in it, but I also kept an eye out, just in case. The bird didn't get stuck, but it very quickly learned not to go there.

The same bird attacked the mirrors of our truck, and the same netting worked there.

This cured a problem that had been going on for several summers.
posted by sevenstars at 1:49 PM on November 8, 2012

I stopped birds flying into our glass patio door by drawing the screen closed -- I'd recommend placing an outdoor window screen if you can. If the window won't accommodate a proper screen, you can get a roll of window screening net pretty inexpensively at any hardware/home improvement store, and tack it over the window.
posted by trunk muffins at 3:59 PM on November 8, 2012

I put opaque privacy screen on the window. It worked. Screens work too and your window frame might already have a place for one.
posted by fshgrl at 3:59 PM on November 8, 2012

I had this for years-- not a cardinal, but a robin, maybe the same robin, thumping my picture window for hours in the morning. Ultimately the tree encroached on the building and had some health problems-- between the two issues, it was decided to make the tree into scrap-wood.

What worked for me, besides me moving into the bird's view, was a lamp I could turn on-- the interior light nuked the mirror-effect that caused the bird to attack the window. You could put a lamp on a timer... done.
posted by Sunburnt at 4:12 PM on November 8, 2012

Similar to the tape strip idea, the Toledo-area Metroparks' "windows on wildlife" (which, you can imagine, have this problem occasionally) hang strips of nylon webbing vertically in front of their windows. They're bright blue in that photo, but I don't think color matters.
posted by pullayup at 4:18 PM on November 8, 2012

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