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!
I had the problem with robins and cardinals attacking my mirrors on my pickup. Plastic bags took care of that. Then the robins relocated to my front chrome bumper and grill. I ended up putting an old sheet under the hood and draped over the grill and bumper. One neighbor asked me if was a mask to keep the truck form getting covid. We had a good laugh.
A mirror finished Airstream trailer was nearby. Women would walk over to it and apply their makeup, or get photographed doing so.
I had similar problems with a female Robin who I guess was determined to build a nest on my tow mirror. Apparently she thought another female was trying to build her nest in the same place she was determined to build. Between pecking and spraying bird poop all over the mirror and side of the truck she had to go. Since DW didn’t want me to waste a BB, I put plastic shopping bags on the mirrors loosely enough to blow in the wind, apparently she didn’t like that and decided to let her competitor have it. Lol
Has anyone used something like a window cling Anti-Collision Window Bird Stickers Decals similar to these https://www.amazon.com/window-decals-bird-strikes/s?k=window+decals+for+bird+strikes and been successful?
We had the same problem last fall in TX. Only the young Cardinal was attacking my Trucks mirror and back glass. Had to cover the mirror up with a bag and scare him away a few times before he finally left my truck alone. He did put some scratches in my mirror though. He was definitely wanting a fight.
When I 1st got my Jayco Jayflight 29RKS I had birds fly into my large window. Stopped as quick as it started. Years ago I had a cardinal pecking my bedroom window. No matter what I did he wouldn’t stop. If I covered the window he’d move to another. He deficated on the window screen which deteriorated the screen. Haven’t had that problem since.
A few times in north central Florida the sandhill cranes attacked their reflections on our freshly washed truck. They flapped, jumped and threw themselves feet first at the reflection, and furiously stabbed with their dagger-like bills. Talk about drama. Not washing the truck was the answer.
See, that’s why I don’t wash our trailer 😁
The small suction cups with hooks and small aluminum pie plates tied to them works great. Place one each end of RV and a couple down the sides if need be and it seems to keep most critters away with them moving from the slightest breeze.
I had the problem with Cardinals going after the side mirrors on my truck. One would land on the mirror and then bend over and begin fighting with his reflection. Plastic bags over the mirrors solved the problem.
And, last year I had a robin attacking his reflection on the chrome part of the grill. I solved that by putting an old sheet over the grill. One of my neighbors asked if I was trying to stop the truck from getting Covid.
Several years ago I spent about 13 months volunteering at the regional office of the Corps of Engineers at Lake Texoma. During the winter I found a total of 7 male cardinals and another bird dead beside my motorhome. They kept battering themselves to death on my blackout type windows. Another one kept fighting his image in my rear view mirror until I pulled it in.
In May, 2020, we finally found an RV park re-opened during Covid. I guess the local birds did not like the influx of trailers and started to dive-bomb our unit. Solution: Tape strips of foil by each window. That solved the issue.
We had the same problem with Cardinals at Caprock Canyons State Park on our recent trip out West. Our 35’ Montana fiver and truck just did fit into the campsite with the result that our large rear window was almost touching some small tree branches. Our Montana’s windows are the “blackout” type that do tend to reflect. We had both a male and a female Cardinal repeatedly fly at and peck at the window. No damage to either the trailer or Cardinals, but I wish we had thought about your idea of taping some paper or something over the window.