Danville, KY, USA
4/7/2021— This Tufted Titmouse woke me up at 8:00 AM to loud chirping and banging outside my window.
Recently, I put out a nest box on my window sill. In case my presence would deter birds from nesting in it, I applied 1-way window-film. Unfortunately, it blocks sunshine from entering my room and it’s reflective on the outside.
I believe this Titmouse was attacking his reflection, thinking it was a rival bird. (I decided to name him “Ansel,” which means “protecter.”)
I drew highlighter on the window to get him to stop, but he hasn’t come back yet so I’m not sure whether it worked or not.
I do have a bird feeder on my windowsill as well, but, since Tufted Titmouse nesting season is beginning, I figured it was probably more likely he was attacking things to protect his nesting territory or claim a new one.
Will birds attack anywhere on their territory or only near their nest? Does he want my new birdhouse?
Hi, This is indeed a territorial defense. where the bird is seeing his own reflection, and viewing it as another male. You can read more about this behavior and how to prevent it here. In short, the reflection on the outside of the window needs to be covered or broken up in some way.
I drew on the outside with highlighter which I heard helps, but he’s back AGAIN chirping and attacking!!!
Do they only do this right near a nest site though, or anywhere in their territory?
Hi. Once a bird selects a nest site that area becomes their territory and they defend it vigorously. Bird territory’s vary depending on the species, as an example: A robin needs only a small backyard, whereas a pair of black capped chickadees can chase off anyone or anything within a space of 8 – 17 acres.
But do not be alarmed! Though this bird is violently attacking your window, injures are rarely fatal.
Sometimes putting a painters drop cloth on the outside of your window helps, but this has its downsides. Many birds will fly around looking for more reflective surfaces to attack, so the best course of action is just to wait out the breeding season.
Do not use other reflective surfaces to draw away the bird. Fake owls and snakes do not deter a territorial bird.
Okay. Thanks. He came back today and was chirping a LOT but thankfully he didn’t actually attack. I hope that means he stopped for good!