By Nanci Dixon
Camping in a state park in Missouri a few weeks ago, 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!
Our feathered woes weren’t over though… Yesterday I had 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 at the rear of the motorhome. He kept half-flying and flaying 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!