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Why Do Red Birds Peck on Windows?

Why Do Red Birds Peck on Windows?

People living in areas where Cardinals and other red birds are highly common often find these creatures pecking at their glass windows. Depending on the scenarios, these incidents can be frequent, infrequent, or regular. But why do red birds peck on your windows? Let’s analyze the reasons below! 

9 Reasons why red birds peck on windows

Red birds can often peck on your windows at any time of the day. What drives their behavior? These reasons will explain to you! 

1. Their reflection might seem like another bird

Some red birds, like the Cardinals, are extremely territorial. The male birds can become aggressive and claim territory, especially during the breeding season, from March to September. If you have large glass windows, the male red birds can see their reflection and misinterpret it as another male bird intruding on their territory. Thus, they might attack their reflection to scare away the ‘outsider’ by pecking on your windows.

2. Attempt to reach the feeder’s reflection

Your large glass windows can often reflect objects in your backyard and garden. If you have bird feeders on your property, your windows can reflect them too. Hungry red birds can confuse the reflection to be a real feeder and try approaching it through the window. So, they can peck your windows to figure out a possible way to reach the feeder and satiate their hunger.

3. Birds are attracted to movements

Some red birds are friendly to humans. They can recognize our voices and have mastered co-living with humans. So, it’s common for a red bird to get attracted to your movements inside your home. If they can see you through windows, they might try to come closer and start pecking on windows. It can happen more frequently if they recognize you and have seen you refilling their feeders.

4. They can see the reflection of trees

Red birds roost on trees and hollow trunks. A pair of red birds can begin looking for the perfect tree to make a nest and lay their eggs right after their breeding season. When you have large glass windows which reflect trees in your garden, the birds might become inquisitive. Red birds might consider the reflections to be real trees and peck on windows to approach them and build nests.

5. Save their nestlings from enemy attack

Some red birds can become aggressive and chase them when they see other birds near their nests. They have a natural tendency of protecting their young ones from other invading birds. When they see themselves on your glass windows, it can trigger their protective parent mode. So, they might start pecking on your windows to defend their nests and nestlings.

6. Spider webs around windows increase pecking

Redbirds are mostly omnivores. They frequently eat insects like bugs and spiders. Some red birds know that spiders make webs and reside near windows. So, they might peck on your windows to find spiders and enjoy a nutritious meal. If your windows have many cobwebs, the pecking can increase, especially during winters, when the red birds need more energy-rich food to tolerate the harsh weather.

7. Pecking window putty for bugs

Do you know? Some bugs reside under the putty layer of your windows. It’s a treasured treat for some red birds, like Cardinals. If a bird has previously found bugs under your window putty, they might peck on your glass and panes to bring the insects out and enjoy a protein-rich meal. They might keep pecking on your windows till they find a bug and satiate their hunger.

8. Reflection of the landscape on windows makes them inquisitive

Apart from breeding seasons, the reflection of your garden landscape on your window glass attracts birds. Cardinals can consider the reflection to be an unexplored area full of trees and dwelling places, and try to approach them by pecking on your windows. 

9. Linseed and fish oil attract red birds

Often, window hinges have linseed and fish oil to provide sufficient lubrication. If your windows have linseed and fish oil lubricants, they can attract some red birds. The aroma can be appetizing and the red birds might misinterpret it as a hidden meal. So, they might peck on your windows to surface the hidden linseed and fish meal.

Now you know all the possible reasons behind a red bird pecking on your windows. Now, let’s understand how you can stop them from pecking on your windows.

Ways to stop red birds from pecking on windows

Redbirds pecking on your windows can be pretty frustrating.

So, you might look for ways to prevent them from pecking on your windows without harming them. Don’t worry! Here are some tips to stop red birds from pecking on windows.

  • Keep your bird feeder at least 30 feet away from your house. Indistinct feeder reflection will not prompt the red birds to peck on your windows.
  • You can use window screens for your windows to reduce clear bird reflections on the glass. It will reduce the pecking event to a large extent.
  • You can use glass films to turn the window somewhat opaque. It will help you reduce the glare and eliminate reflections of red birds on your window glasses. 
  • As you know birds get territorial during the breeding season, you can temporarily cover the glass windows with cardboard and newspapers to avoid bird pecking.
  • You can cover the window glasses with tapes to eliminate the reflections. It will help you stop red birds from pecking on your windows.
  • You can use curtains and blinds to cover your windows. It will help you reduce the reflections and birds won’t peck on your windows.
  • Another permanent solution to stop red birds from pecking on your windows is to paint them. It will reduce the birds’ reflections and won’t attract them to the glasses.
  • Use grease and clock oil to lubricate your window hinges. It won’t attract the birds or their pecking on your glasses.


Due to the curious nature of red birds, they can peck on your windows. Since you know the reason behind their behavior, you can take necessary measures to stop them from creating annoying pecking.

If you are having trouble getting birds to your window feeder, check out this article on all the reasons on why birds are not coming to your window feeder.