For the last two years we have had a male Chaffinch coming to our windows and pecking on them as if wanting to attract our attention.

Strange thing is he only pecks at a window if he can see us so if we are not in one of the downstairs rooms he flies to the upstairs windows till he finds us then starts pecking away?

If we go towards the window he flies off but comes back almost immediatley.

Have you heard of this before?


Hi, thanks for getting in touch.  I have never, ever heard of such a thing!

I’m amazed.  This chaffinch is using it’s brain and realises that it can see you through windows.  It is following you round the house! 

I’ll never call anyone bird brain again.

Do you put bird food out.   Could it be that it is trying to attract your attention because the bird feeders are empty.  Maybe it is starving and wants food.  That is the only explanation I can think of.

Many years ago I forgot to put bird food out for two days when it was really snowing.  I was walking towards the gate and a bird was perched on top of the gate ‘spitting’ and ‘chirping’ frantically.  As I walked towards it it just kept looking at me and ‘spitting and chirping’.   That is the only way I can describe it.

I suddenly remembered I had forgotten the bird food.  I  quickly put some out and my garden was full of birds.

That is one reason I can think of.

Another reason is that for some unexplicable reason it has become attached to you and your family.

Has anyone else any ideas?



  1. maggs swaine

    right at this moment we have a chaffinch at our window, he sits on a branch then flies to the window lands on the small window part and taps the glass, has been going on all day, ive put out food but hes not interested in it ,we find it quite amusing.

  2. Trish Post author

    You are lucky to see a chaffinch close up.

    I have heard of this happening before and it seems the bird could see its own reflection in the window. The bird thought the reflection was another bird and tried to get to it.

    If this is what is happening with your chaffinch then it will be using a lot of energy. Could you draw the curtain or put something over the window. This may stop the chaffinch and it will stop doing it and become interested in the food you put out.

    Let me know how you come on.

  3. Donna Bewsher

    We live in Cumbria and have had exactly the same experience 2 years running. The bird is marking its territory, it sings and is simply flying up to the windows to fight its reflection. The bird does this all day long. We have a connifer tree a few yards from our bungalow and the chaffinch nests in this tree. When it is nesting on its eggs and feeding chicks it stops flying at the window. So no it isn’t a bird brain as suggested, it is a very assertive character! Yes it can be a nuisance but here goes to a bright chaffinch!

  4. Jack wray

    My chaffinch starts banging around 5am, twice having got me out of bed,thinking someone is at the door. As soon as he sees me he flys to the bird feeder,I must say the novelty has worn off

  5. Trish Post author

    Hi Jack, Sorry for the delay in replying. Fancy that! Maybe when he sees you it stops his reflection and so he flys off. Will put your story on Bird Table News in a day or two.
    Bird Table News

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