Why do birds tap on my windows?

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Offline thedoc

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Why do birds tap on my windows?
« on: 09/04/2013 00:30:00 »
Vincent D. Mills  asked the Naked Scientists:
Most mornings after sunrise, there are some birds that land on my bedroom window and start tapping their beaks against the glass.  This has been happening for at least as long as I've been living at the house which is about 12 years.

I've looked on line and had seen some reasons described as the birds seeing their own reflection mirrored in the glass and perceive it as an intruder and that are trying to attack the image, Sometimes there are up to 4 birds doing this at the same time and they can get quite furious in their pecking of the glass.

I've tried a number of methods to stop this such as sticking pictures of a large bird, eagle or owl on inside of the window hoping that this would scare the birds off and this does not make any difference.  

Do you have any idea what the real reason is and how I could stop this.  


Vince Mills

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 09/04/2013 00:30:00 by _system »


Offline graham.d

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Re: Why do birds tap on my windows?
« Reply #1 on: 09/04/2013 17:31:30 »
I thought the real reason was as described - that they see a reflection. It maybe that the act is not always a hostile one though. There is a pheasant that comes to the offices where I work and spends a lot of its life doing this - I am amazed it does not die of starvation. The glass goes to the ground and has a dark backing so it is not too bad as a mirror and there is nothing he can see through the glass as a result. Pheasant are particularly stupid birds though.


Offline menageriemanor

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Re: Why do birds tap on my windows?
« Reply #2 on: 10/04/2013 12:59:32 »
This is usually only a problem low down at windows, where birds can stand and peck.  If you would like to help the birds, sticky tape paper along the bottom foot of effected windows.  or glue on with flour and water, or lightly spray, just to muck up reflection, that fake snow spray you can wash off. You can just paint on flour and water, tho you may have to redo after heavy rain. It only needs to be on during mating season.  I find a month is plenty, but I'm in Oz, different species.  I did have to put brown paper bags over both side mirrors of my car, for a fortnight, due to a cranky, horny, hungry, exhausted wagtail, that was determined to win and see his incredibly handsome rival off.

The only other reason I can think of, is they may see a fly or beetles or ants, on the inside of the glass, and the birds are trying to grab them.
« Last Edit: 10/04/2013 13:05:38 by menageriemanor »