Saturday, September 30, 2023


Beware! Mirror glaze finish attracts wild birds. They dented and scratched our RV!

One time while camping in a state park in Missouri, a young male cardinal saw his reflection in our bedroom window. It took a while for us to figure out that the sound at the back of the motorhome was him ramming himself into the window relentlessly. I shooed him away before he seriously hurt himself or broke our window. I quickly forgot about it, but when I went back inside the motorhome a bit later, I heard a Click! Bam! Click! again and started searching for what was rhythmically making that noise.

Nothing running, whirling or pumping. It finally dawned on me that the cardinal was back… and back with a vengeance. The bird reflection in the window must have seemed a competitor as the young male was becoming more and more aggressive. I took the above video and then solved the problem by taping paper over the outside of the window. He made a few more passes at the paper and then got confused and flew off. Whew!

Turkey vs. mirror glaze finish

Our feathered woes weren’t over though… I heard a Gobble Gobble and thought how nice it was to have wildlife right at our site in a Minnesota regional park. I will admit, though, that the thought of Thanksgiving dinner did pass through my mind as he strutted by.

I heard a rather loud thud and discovered that he was a determined young turkey looking for a fight with his reflection in the mirror glaze finish at the rear of the motorhome. He kept half-flying and flailing himself at the bottom of the motorhome. His wicked beak literally put three, six-inch scratches and a dent in the rear panel before I screamed and ran it away, down a hill and into a marsh.

I did have to come back and explain to our concerned and amused neighbors why I was screaming and running down the hill after a turkey. No, the gobbler did not come back and I saw him heading toward another shiny RV down the road. So much for the advantages of having a mirror glaze finish!


Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon has been a full-time RVer living “The Dream” for the last six years and an avid RVer for decades more! She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.


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Neal Davis
2 months ago

Thank you, Nanci!

2 months ago

It’s not only birds that you need to look out for. Where I used to live a rancher’s wife spent a bundle on detailing her car and got it really nice and shiny. That night during a full moon a moose found a foe in the reflection of himself in the car. When she went out to go to work the next morning she found a car with dents, holes, scrapes and scratch’s, on every outside surface including the roof and bashed in fenders and doors. I actually saw the car and the insurance totaled it due the amount of damage.

George Thaxton
2 months ago

It’s not just mirror finishes that birds go after. We parked our 23 ft. micro lite at Cleburne state park. Shortly after we started hearing a whack sound coming from the back of the trailer. I climbed up the ladder and saw a female cardinal attacking the black shroud over the bathroom vent. She kept it up all afternoon only taking a break to attack the black trim on my truck mirrors. She stopped at sunset but resumed the next day. As we pulled out to go home I stopped to talk to another camper. She followed us and kept on attacking. She really wanted us out of there.

Bob M
2 months ago

Back years ago I had a cardinal pecking at our bedroom window. Covered it with towels, than he moved to a different window. Got rid of him, than had a woodpecker pecking a metal dump trailer. Don’t know why there was no bugs there.

Vince S
2 months ago

How wild! We had a cardinal emotionally attached to his reflection and we just assumed he was “confused”. To read his behaviors are not unique is quite interesting. Good article!

Tim Palmer
2 months ago

We had Robins attacking our bedroom windows in our house and had a turkey attack our vehicles. The turkey made nice dinner for a friend of ours.

Glenda Alexander
2 months ago

One winter several years ago, while I was volunteering at Lake Texoma for the Corps of Engineers, over a period of time I found 6 dead cardinals and another type of bird on the ground outside my RV. They had destroyed themselves by flying against my dark, reflective windows. After I had found the first one, I thought that he had frozen to death and fallen out of the tree.

Jim Johnson
2 months ago

A couple winters back we were parked next to a high shrub. Our cats enjoyed watching the birds out an adjacent window. A Titmouse had a nest in the shrub. Males will protect the nest from fellow males. Each morning at the same time that window became a one-way mirror. Drove the male Titmouse crazy attacking himself – and drove our cats crazy with this dumb bird pecking at the window!

2 months ago

We had Robins and Cardinals attacking the mirrors on my truck. I covered then with plastic shopping bags. That stopped the problem with the mirrors. However, the persistent birds then found the chrome front bumper and grill. I ended up using an old sheet under the hood draped over the front of the truck. When someone asked about the sheet, I told them it was a mask to prevent Covid.

Dennis E Prichard
2 months ago

Volunteering at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, I had left the windows down on the truck as it was a warm day. My volunteer neighbor knocked on my trailer door and said I should roll up those windows and pointed to the truck. A roadrunner was travelling between side-view mirrors across the dashboard trying to fight both “competitors” at once!

Diane McGovern
2 months ago

Hey, Dennis! How’s it going? Thanks for the funny story.😅👍 Have a great day! 😀 –Diane at

2 months ago

I have a picture of a turkey attacking my motorhome too. As a matter of fact, it is so similar that I wondered how my picture appeared in your article! 😄

2 months ago

I have had red birds attaching my mirrors on the motor home and Jeep. I have started keeping the mirrors on the rv covered with plastic grocery bags and on the Jeep I just fold them in when not driving.

Last edited 2 months ago by R B
2 months ago

We put bird profiles on our glass. They are semi-transparent and made with a material that is highly visible to birds alone. Might work on RV windows.

Justin Moore
2 months ago

Literally had a Cardinal do the same to the truck and trailer today. I hope I don’t need to find glass polish.

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