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Odd cardinal behavior

7582 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  ShirleyM
This is from my brother-in-law in Chantilly, VA. Does anyone here know anything about this?

"Maybe some of you can explain this bird's behavior. About once a day, a female cardinal perches on the little round wrought iron table on the deck near our glass doors that lead into the den. Repeatedly, the cardinal will flutter up to one of the panes--usually the same one--and bump it solidly with her bill, her head. She has been doing this for at least two weeks now. We are convinced it's the same bird. Today her mate was out there with her, watching from the railing. He flew off before she got through making her thumps against the glass. No other birds do this, and a number of them come onto the back deck because I sneak bread out there from time to time. If she were flying at the glass from a farther distance, she could break her neck or bill and that would be the end of her. But she's not getting much of a start from a foot or so away, but it still makes a pretty solid thump. I've gone outside and looked back at the glass, the reflection, to see if I can figure out what it is that she sees. Is it her own reflection? Does she think it's a passage way to the trees, which are reflected in the glass? Is she just dumb? Is it an omen? Is it the beginning of a Stephen King novel?"
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Hummmm Shirley where are you???:idea::confused:
it is the same bird! cardinals are teritorial, and i also belive they mate for life. the female is seeing another female (her reflection) and is trying to chase it way. i wish i could give you a solution. the only thing i can think of is to cover the window so she does not see her reflection anymore. hopefully she will forget about it in a week or two.

when we moved into the house the previous owners (who built the house) said that get used to a male cardinal banging the glass everymorning and afternoon. sure enough he was there everyday. i guess certain times of the day were better at reflecting from his favorite perch.

at the end of last year this cardinal was finally ousted out of his territory (our house) the current cardinal apparantly has not noticed his reflection.

That sounds like a good solution, Geoff. Interesting behavior for those cards.
Yup,,,calling DR Shirley, calling Dr Shirley,,,
got a nutcase,errr patient cardinal in exam room 3!
ahhhCath you say it's a female cardinal,,,,,
i ain't going there,,,,, ;) :)
Junkzoo said:
ahhhCath you say it's a female cardinal,,,,,
i ain't going there,,,,, ;) :)
cath tight-lipped and tappin' her toe....
A very wise decision, Jeff. Very wise indeed :D
cath said:
cath tight-lipped and tappin' her toe....
A very wise decision, Jeff. Very wise indeed :D
Ya KNOW I luv Ya ,Cath;) :D
problem is probably from the female being bothered to "feathers-end" by the dopey ol Male cardinal,,,,,,
did that get me off the hook? ;)
open mouth , insert foot :D
Why shore, Jeff!!

Ya know I love ya too :) You beeze my buddy!
Howdy! I hear you all now...Sorry it took me so long! How neat!

Ok,'s what I can offer...from experience.

Steve's father used to feed a cardinal a few peanuts EVERY evening out the patio door of his house. I saw this happen many times. The Cardinal would come up, tap the glass, hop around, tap the glass again, and then someone would throw a couple peanuts out there. He'd eat them and be on his way until the next evening. He was there for many years. And yes, he was a male.

As for the reflection, I doubt he's attacking his reflection. There'd be a bit of displaying and he'd also figure it out and quit. Shelby (our cockaotoo) used to display to her reflection, but that doesn't fool her anymore, nor does it fool our Bourke's parakeets of Parrotlets.

Didn't you say you fed bread to the birds? I do believe the bird is trying to get your attention. Cardinals, as you probably know, are bold, intellligent, and are pretty good at communicating with people.

~ Shirley :)
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