BIRDS ATTACKING WINDOWS
A common songbird problem during nesting season is birds attacking windows. The culprit is usually a male bird, and quite often a cardinal.
The cause is quite simple: this confused bird sees his reflection in the window and thinks it’s a competitor male out to take over his nesting area. He becomes obsessed with chasing it off and flies at his own reflection.
If this were a real bird and not his reflection, such behavior would quickly end with the weaker bird leaving the area. With his reflection, however, he is met with equal action, and it is a stalemate. His obsession can become so great that he never attracts a mate, never nests, and may injure or kill himself colliding with the window.
The cure to this problem is also quite simple: you must remove his reflection. The easiest way is to allow the windows to remain “dirty” because only clean windows reflect well. Reflection from a clean window can be eliminated by spraying with soapy or salty water and allowing to dry. A more permanent solution is to install dark screening on the outside of the windows.
We’ve even heard stories of this behavior toward cars. Birds have been reported attacking side-view mirrors, windows, and shiny paint. The same concept applies. Although you would not want to spray salty water on your car, can the car be garaged or draped when parked? A cloth draped over a mirror will “disable” the attractiveness of the mirror.
BIRDS THAT FLY AT YOU
Another common problem during nesting season is birds, dive-bombing people, as they enter and exit a doorway. Typically, this is a bird nesting nearby, and it feels threatened by your presence. This activity usually occurs when there are eggs or hatchlings in the nest.
Try to determine what species of bird it is and the location of the nest. The species will give you an indication of where the nest is located and how long the nesting period lasts. Depending on the species, incubation is generally one to three weeks.
When the eggs hatch and the parents are busy gathering food for their hungry offspring, this activity may or may not cease.
If you can enter and exit by way of another door, that would be the simplest solution. If this is not possible, setting a visual barrier between the doorway and the nest, such as a dressing blind or hanging a sheet, may give the birds a feeling of security.
WOODPECKERS ATTACKING WOODEN HOMES
Woodpeckers peck wood – that’s what they do, and it’s why they are so named. The echo of rhythmic drumming on a country morning is a wonderful sound – unless the wood being drilled is part of your home! Woodpecker damage can be quite extensive and expensive, but it can be prevented.
When a woodpecker drums it is actually looking for insects hiding under tree bark. If you have an insect infestation of the wood, these birds will come calling and can alert you to a problem. An inspection by an exterminator may be in order.
If there are no insects but a bird is determined to dismantle your home, bright yellow balloons hung on the side of the home usually will chase them away. Mylar balloons will hold up better in the weather, but you want to utilize the bright yellow color. Attach the balloon to the side or corner of your home with a one to two-foot line, to allow the balloon to move with the breeze. You may need to hang one on each outside wall to protect the entire building.
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