The Cardinal Long War

So, since the beginning of spring this cardinal has been attacking the windows of my house.

It began at a window where the wife had set out some bird food. He’d peck at the window incessantly for much of the day…

Then he alternated between pecking at the wife’s window to pecking and taking kamikaze dives at the sliding glass door that leads out to the pool.

A few days after that I found him attacking the pane glass of the door down in the basement.

Now he hits just about all the ground-level windows of the house. Constantly making loops around it attacking its windows as it goes.

He starts about sunup and goes until twilight or so. During his breaks he’ll sing us lovely songs on nearby trees.

At one point a week or so ago I saw him courting a lovely lady cardinal. I had hoped he would be able to win her over so he could focus his attention on her instead of my house. But either he didn’t score or his relationship with her quickly devolved to the point where he’d rather spend his time bashing himself at my windows that be with her.


The gif above is of him attacking the kitchen window this morning as I was making my coffee — blame its poor quality to the fact I hadn’t yet had that first cuppa…

There are other disturbing shots of him viciously attacking my house on my Instagram. [VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED]

Any ornithologists or ornithologist-wannabes out there with insight as to why this bird has had a vendetta for my house for nearly a month now?

Help me…



10 Replies to “The Cardinal Long War”

  1. Wow it’s beautiful! Not an ornithologist, but maybe he just likes you/your house/has seen the food and wants more? Some years ago a blackbird would come to our balcony and get the food from us. He got so used to our presence that sometimes he took the food from our hands. He also used to sing to us, sometimes to call us if we weren’t on the balcony. His wife was a bit more fearful. Then one day we saw him squashed on the road and his wife looked for him for some hours and then abandoned the chicks, and it was the saddest thing ever, a Greek tragedy. So all my best wishes to your cardinal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We used to put a birdhouse up for the bluebirds, but each year, after getting so excited to watch them move in and lay their eggs, would eventually end up tragic when a snake would eat their eggs or other birds would remove their eggs and lay their own or some other disaster. We gave up. Too depressing. But the cardinal, while annoying, is fun and he sings us pretty songs. He doesn’t mind us watching him on the other side of the window, but if we try to go outside to get closer, he hightails it out of there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good grief! I’m not an ornithologist either, but I can relate! For 2 years, I had a pigeon attacking one window of my house, where I have artificial flowers, daily. Guess he finally learned his lesson. Two days ago, 2 bumblebees did the same thing! Cardinals are supposedly messengers of someone watching over you. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The standard explanation for a bird attacking a window is that he sees his reflection and interprets it as another bird (a dastardly rival!) w/o recognizing himself.  BTW, the physics of partial reflection is weirder than the bird’s misconception.  It’s weird enough to incite some people to bang their heads against walls.

    Liked by 1 person

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