Go peck yourself.

This spring there seems to be more talk of birds attacking birds.

Well, it’s not birds getting attacked, exactly. It’s their own reflections.

And the attackers leave a hell of a mess splattered around.

I’ve had to park my car in the garage. If I leave it out, a crazed Robin goes at the windows and mirror. I’ve caught him in the act.

Friends ask me about this.

(I get a lot of bird questions. I don’t know which makes me feel more odd: that I get these questions, or that I might have some answers.)

Anyway. Friends have heard knocking on their glass doors, only to find beak marks and bird droppings.

There was a story built around this subject a while back in our “Bird Detective” section. It’s called, “Knock Knock Mystery.”

I’ve seen Cardinals as well as Robins knock themselves cuckoo trying to fight an imaginary male that they think is on their turf.

But I’ve never seen a Cuckoo do this. Those birds are smart enough to stay mostly in the wild.

The wild is where it’s at for birds. Or where it should be.

In the meantime, I’ll be parking in the garage. You’ll be wondering who’s pecking at the glass in your door.

And a lot of male birds will be sitting in nearby trees with headaches.

3 Responses to “Go peck yourself.”

  1. John Pratt says:

    Back when I was a wildlife management student at U of Maine, we used this behavior to trap ruffed grouse. We would find the stump or log where the males drummed and set up a box trap. The trap had a mirror inside and the bird would charge in when he saw another bird on his drumming spot. We’d band the bird and let him go to drum another day.

  2. Chad Skaggs says:

    Yeah, for sure.

    For about four weeks this spring I had a daily attack at my bedroom window by an Eastern Towhee flogging its reflection. On just one day it was joined by a Northern Cardinal, which has a reputation for such assertiveness.

    I have lived here for 12 years, but never have seen this here before.


  3. Marc D. says:

    Are birds, like humans, also narcissistic? Do they fall in love with their own mirror image and kiss it with a peck or two on the beak?