Bird-brained Behavior

Several weeks ago I awoke to a tapping at my window. Thinking it was one of our dogs or our cat wanting to go out, I got up, only to find that it was a Robin at the window. Not only was he tapping, but every once in a while he would throw himself against the window. It was actually quite disturbing to see. We had friends over for dinner that evening and he was still smashing into the window. My theory was that he had brain damage from hitting it so hard. When it continued for days, I finally called the local Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department for help.

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Apparently, this behavior is not unusual for male robins during the mating season. The male robin was actually trying to fight his own reflection. Their advice was to cover the window with cardboard, and after a few days he would go away. However, we have these huge windows and were only able to cover the lower half with large pieces of cardboard. The robin was not deterred. It continued for weeks. We got used to the slamming and tapping, but the worst part was that he would sit there and poop in front of our sliding glass doors. Just when we were so tired of it we started thinking of “getting rid of” him for good, we noticed the fantastic nest that he had built just a few feet away, in front of the wood shed.

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It was so lovely, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to get rid of him. Then, when we had finally gotten used to the noise and the poop, it stopped. I went out to look at the nest this morning and discovered three little baby robins there (kind of hard to see in this picture). Finally, all the crazy behavior made sense, and I was happy to be able to share my “territory” with this nutty bird.

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