DISTRESSED BLUE TIT CONTINUOUSLY FLYING INTO A GLASS WINDOW

For the last couple of weeks almost continually throughout the day we have
had a little blue tit flying at our dining room windows.

flying into them and just going up & down the full length of  the windows.

Although very novel at the start it is becoming tiresome now and furthermore upsetting the wife.

Isn’t that a strange thing.   I  replied

Hi,  Just a quick reply before I look into it a bit more.

Could you keep the curtains closed.  Do you have any window stickers ?

I heard of one bird trying to get at some putty that was in a window. Are
yours plastic window frames.

If it is continuous during the day then when will it feed?  very strange
Will be in touch later

Trish

 Harry –

thanks for the speedy reply,
But I have tried what you suggest and it does not work.

Today I am going to try and cover the outside of the window albeit just temporarily with something stuck on the glass.

There are no window stickers and yes they are plastic and have been for years without any trouble.

Still at a loss as too the reason but the poor little bird seems very distressed about the whole  affair.I will keep you posted if you do not mind.Two heads are better than  one especially in this case as I have never heard or seen anything as
strange as this which there appears to be no let up.

Speak soon ,thanks again, Harry

My reply

About half an hour ago a pal gave this reason  Birds attack shiny surfaces
because they see their own reflections. With windows the bird sees a
reflection of the outside – maybe trees, sky and another bird (which is in
fact itself)  Your blue tit maybe has mistaken its own reflection for a
competitor for its own  mate or for the area of land where your bluetit
lives.  So it thinks it is defending its own territory against an intruder.
It could damage itself,but it is also a waste of energy.   The ‘reflected
bird’ will always be behind the glass of course, so your blue tit can’t win

maybe your idea to cover the outside of the window is right. 

Hi Harry,   Suggestion has come my way that if you use cling film on the
window that stops the reflection,  But  I cannot imagine that.  Once you
stop the reflection  then the  the birds automatic behaviour stops

It also seems that some birds attack different windows depending on where
the sun is reflecting on thewindow.

Apologies I did not know this myself. 

 Trisha

-0-0-0-0-

Please let me know if you know of other reasons for this strange behaviour

25 thoughts on “DISTRESSED BLUE TIT CONTINUOUSLY FLYING INTO A GLASS WINDOW

  1. Shell

    This does sound very distressing and it sounds like it is seeing its own reflection or either is trying to fly into open space but can’t because of the glass.

    Some years ago we had a Pied Wagtail perch itself on the upstairs window ledge and then dart backwards and forwards pecking at the window. I soon realised it was trying to catch a little fly which was inside the house!

  2. Ivan

    We just started getting this behaviour from a feathered resident. The nesting box is quite close to the window and I too think the blue tit is attacking his own reflection. We will try clingfilm and see if that is sufficient.

  3. Trish Post author

    This is distressing. Hope it does not do it all the time. Have you tried keeping the curtain drawn or put something near the window so it can’t see its own reflection. I know this was mentioned earlier,but thought I’d mention it again.
    Let me know how you get on

  4. Deblique

    Yep, we are having exactly the same problem over last week or so. two blue tits sit on the balcony rail outside our bedroom and then fly at the full length glass continuously, it starts at about 06.00h so wakes us up and goes on, most of the day. One also tries to squeeze itself through the small window which we can only just keep ajar because otherwise it would get through. We dare not open the balcony door to let in air as the birds would fly straight through.
    All very odd and never happened before having lived in house for over 20 years – also UPVC frames….
    Will try the clingfilm, but not optomistic, trying to think what would scare them away? Any ideas?

  5. pinos

    I have a bluetit sometimes two flying at my window up and down there is pleanty of food for them hear its beak also hava a large mirrow at the side of my house and it does the same can it harm it’s self
    there is plenty of food for them, anything i can do

  6. Trish Post author

    Hi Deblique and Pinos, Have either of you tried keeping the curtains closed. If all they can see is a cloth covering the window they may stop flying into the window as it would not be a window any more.

    Can you let me know if you have tried this?

    Blue tits sometimes try to get putty from windows in winter time.

    He could be trying to get insects or spiders from around the window, or it is attacking it’s reflection. Blue Tits are pairing up and getting ready to breed now, so they’re quite aggressive.

    Could you both let me know how you get on

    Trisha

  7. Len

    Hello, have just seen this thread after googling this issue. We have within the last year built an extension to the rear of our bungalow and since mid March we have been having, initially, blue tits, flying at the windows and pecking at them. We were baffled at why they would do this as prior to the extension being built we did not have this problem. After a couple of weeks the blue tits stopped and now we have the larger great tits doing the same at a larger conservatory window. We believe after much brain racking that the birds used to nest in an area where our extension now sits. The blue tits nested close to the window they were attacking and likewise with the great tits. Could anyone clarify if this is a likely reason why the birds are flying at our windows? Len Rendell

  8. Anna

    Hi
    I have just been reading everyone’s comments as we too have this problem.

    Since last month we have one small blue tit that appears to try to get into our house through the windows. It flutters from one window to the next including bedrooms.

    We also have UPVC windows and it has become quite distressing seeing the bird become exhausted. We have also tried to close the curtains but to no avail, this morning I woke to tapping at the window and as soon as I drew back the curtains it flew away.

    After asking nearby neighbours we appear to be the only ones that it targets?!

    Any further suggestions from anyone?

  9. Trish Post author

    Len, Could you keep the curtains closed. Do you have any window stickers ?

    I heard of one bird trying to get at some putty that was in a window. Are yours plastic window frames.

    A pal gave this reason Birds attack shiny surfaces
    because they see their own reflections.

    With windows the bird sees a reflection of the outside – maybe trees, sky and another bird (which is in fact itself)

    Your blue tit maybe has mistaken its own reflection for a competitor for its own mate or for the area of land where your bluetit lives. So it thinks it is defending its own territory against an intruder.
    It could damage itself,but it is also a waste of energy. The ‘reflected bird’ will always be behind the glass of course, so your blue tit can’t win

    maybe some type of cover partly covering the oustide of the window.

    A Suggestion has come my way that if you use cling film on the window that stops the reflection, Once you stop the reflection then the the birds automatic behaviour stops

    It also seems that some birds attack different windows depending on where the sun is reflecting on the window.

    -0-0-0-0-

    I know this is a repitition of what has been said before. Please let me know if you know of other reasons for this strange behaviour

    I also put this on Bird Table News in case someone saw it who could help.
    http://birdtablenews.com/2011/04/distresed-blue-tits-flying-into-the-windows/

  10. Jill barrow

    Is it just this year? I have one blue tit of a pair who are nesting nearby, who pecks at one window off and on from 6 am onwards (when the curtains are closed and sun isn’t up). There are lots of other windows and it never goes to those. It is definitely not putty pecking and I’ve washed the window to remove specks of dirt. It aims for somewhere in the middle of the window. I’ll try the cling film idea as no one has come back to say it doesn’t work.

  11. Jill

    Am posting this link on rspb site which seems to support the cling film theory – have just cling filmed window. Fingers crossed! Will let you know how I get on

  12. Jill

    My last post. Instant success with cling film. Had to do window next to it as well but he has now stopped altogether! Thanks everyone.

  13. Deblique

    Hi
    Just to update that blue tit stopped appearing every morning and has now disappeared. The dawn chorus getting earlier and the lighter mornings did seem to mark a bit of a turning point which is odd as we were being woken at about 05.30h and that was getting annoying and then it just stopped. I am pleased, but still a bit intrigued, as all the other comments above seem to be….

  14. Andy

    I can tell you that Blue Tits are not “attacking” their reflections or trying to fly to a point they believe to be beyond the glass.
    Watch closely and you will notice the window will have spiders, flies and other titbits nestling in corners and crevices (some crossing the glass). The Tits will ‘hover’, like humming birds and dart in to snatch the tasty morsel for the youngsters.
    I have a climbing rose to one side of the window and a hanging basket at the other, they use these as launching points and rarely ‘crash’ into the glass.
    Occasionally a young bird may get too enthusiastic to grab his/her first snack but soon learns to take the more measured method of snacking.
    If you want to help your Tit family picnics, provide a climber or other ‘perching point’ and get the joy of watching their antics from the comfort of your armchair.
    We have three families in our boxes this year, with no mishaps.
    Happy tit watching.
    Andy.

  15. Trish Post author

    Hi Andy, Thank you for this explanation. It does make sense, but the explanation of the birds seeing their own reflection makes sense as well. The insect reason makes sense as it explains why not every bird does it.

    Next time anyone gets in touch about this I’ll ask them if they think it could be insects. thanks for taking the time to reply.

    The climbing rose and the hanging basket sound lovely and also, more importantly, give birds a perch to get insects from.
    Trisha

  16. maureen bailey

    my blue tit hovers at my window and on the handle of my back door lots of times during the day. its hovers not flies into the window I am worried that it will wear its self out there doesnt appear to be any insects there

  17. maureen bailey

    A blue tit hovers at my window and at the back door window landing on the door handle lots of times a day .There doesnt seem to be any insects about ,I am worried it will tire its self out poor thing . the blind in my window is often closed when it does this so its not reflection ,ny advise

  18. Trisha

    Hi, I will read through my other notes, but these links may help if you read through them. I wonder if the last link may help you most – that the bird does not see the glass but can see insects. I know you said that you can’t see any insects, but maybe there are some there.

    http://birdtablenews.com/2011/04/distresed-blue-tits-flying-into-the-windows/

    http://birdtablenews.com/2011/04/stopping-blue-tits-flying-into-windows/

    http://birdtablenews.com/2011/06/another-reason-why-blue-tits-fly-into-glass-windows/

  19. Charlene

    Hi..

    I am having real issues with two blue tits recently. They are flying continually into one of our windows, it starts from 10.00-10.30am, everyday!
    First we thought it was due to feed. So we purchased food and it stopped for a while. But now we continue to use feed and the problem remains.
    Last year we got rid of a nest which was on the side of the house. No birds had nested here recently, they had all flew off and this is why we got rid of it.
    The birds are pecking and pecking at my car and they are continuing to use my car as their toilet. It looks AWFUL!
    This morning just they are creating an awful mess on the window using their poo on their claws and running it down the window.
    This is just not funny anymore! 🙁
    PLEASE HELP!

  20. Grant

    Hi,
    Just saw this site and thought I’d add a comment…
    As described earlier by others, today for the last 3 hours and still counting, we have had a blue tit flying from the feeder just beyond to our sitting room windows and just going up & down the upper part of the window.
    Notably, though the windows, frames and soffits above were cleaned yesterday and in any case are quite new. So not chance of a morsel of food there.
    Closing the curtains doesn’t stop it (though it changed panes to fly to) and doesn’t seem too perturbed that I’m sat working at a table just inside though he appears to react to my movements.
    It doesn’t touch the glass except once when it perched and pecked it a few times.
    It stops to nibble the odd bit of bread and nuts but persists excitedly at its fluttering!
    I can only imagine it is driven to this by seeing its own reflection! Obviously a bit of a bird brain! lol

  21. Francis Smith

    We too have a blue tit banging on one of our windows. It confines itself to the bottom of the right hand opener. The window is 9@ by 5@ (45 sq feet) yet it is only interested in the bottom right 2 sq feet. There are no insects, the window has just been cleaned. Thinking it might be attacking its own reflection I stuck a sheet of cardboard over the section but the blue tit just tried to rip the cardboard away. This morning I left the window open for half an hour so it could not fly into it, the blue tit did not attempt to enter the house but just continually flew from a nearby tree to the windowsill and back hardly stopping to take breath, this was more exhausting than the window banging so I closed the window again. I’m now going to try the cling film idea.

  22. Ron Varney

    Definitely no insects at all on my window. It has been stripping a climbing rose at the side of the window too. Seems to be in a sort of frenzy.

  23. John McAllister

    I have been watching this strange practice for 2 days now and it’s still ongoing. “My bluetit is darting back and forth from a nearby nestbox to the french doors quite frantically. I am somewhat i agreement with fellow opinions that it’s a territorial thing and that “my” bluetit is challenging what it believes to be a “competitor” for both a nearby nest box and indeed its “less interested partner” happily watching from an adjacent fence.
    I’m very much hoping they’re planning my garden as their nesting site so worth the disturbance they’re creating.

    John

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