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Bird Why do Birds Peck at Glass Windows?

A long-tailed tit checks his reflection - Photo  Copyright 2005 Alex Webborn
Photo: Alex Webborn

UK Safari Tip:
Get help identifying birds with the superbly illustrated "Top 50 Garden Birds" identification chart - click here

Some birds will peck at window frames all year round. They find tiny little insects in the corners of the frames to eat. But in early spring, when birds start singing and establishing their territories, we often receive e-mails from people asking why birds are actually knocking on the glass of their windows.

What's normally happening is that the birds are seeing their own reflection in the glass. They assume it's a rival trying to take over their patch, and so they peck at it to try and drive it away.

Another cause could be an ornament of a bird on a window ledge. Again this could be mistaken for a rival.

It's not just houses which receive this treatment either. Shiny car windows are often pecked at in the same way. I once watched a blackbird attacking it's own reflection in a car wing mirror for three days before it finally gave up and moved on.

Track Down More Info

How to Stop Birds Flying into Windows
UK Safari Bird Section

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved