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Why Do Cardinals Fly Into Windows? (Tips to Stop Them)

Imagine you are studying peacefully and all of a sudden a cardinal hit your window. You might be thinking why do cardinals fly into windows?

Cardinals fly into windows for three main reasons. They might be attacking their own reflection considering it another bird. Sometimes they may get disoriented due to eating fermented berries. They may not notice the window.

However, there are some other interesting facts that I found during my research on cardinals flying into windows.

I have also shared some proven methods that can help you stop cardinals from flying into windows.

I have shared all of my findings in this article, so if you are interested to learn about them, keep on reading.

Let’s discuss why does a cardinal hit the window first and then move on to the prevention of the case later.

Reasons Why Cardinal Hitting Window

why do cardinals fly into windows

Just as you read above, I’ve discovered three main reasons why cardinals may fly into windows. But why do they do so? well, let me explain each reason in detail. However, if you are not interested in learning details, feel free to skip this section.

The next section will teach you how to stop cardinals from flying into windows.

1. Cardinals May be Attacking their Reflection

Sometimes cardinals may attack their own reflection thinking it is another bird. Since they are vulnerable during the breeding season, this happens more often.

The attacking behavior is often noticed in captive birds that are kept in cages or aviaries where there is nothing for them to do. This aggressive behavior may also happen after mating since the male will help to feed its babies.

2. Cardinals May Get Disoriented

A cardinal might be cardinal flying into window because they are disoriented due to eating berries that were fermented. This is more common in the winter months when these birds do not have anything else to eat except for fermented berries.

fermented berries contain a higher amount of sugar, compared to normal berries. However, since the process of fermentation is incomplete, toxic substances like alcohol remain in them.

According to studies it has been found cardinals avoid fermented blueberries (Vaccinium spp.). This may make you think that they would not fly into windows since lack of food doesn’t seem to be a reason for this behavior.

However, they do fly into windows when there are berries all around them and also close to the window. Yes it is true birds can get drunk and it is a proven fact from studies.

3. Getting Distracted By Bright Lights

Birds use stars to navigate during the night time, especially during their migration time. However, things can get harder for them when they enter busy cities with so many distractions.

There might be street lights, car lights, etc due to which they would get distracted and may fly toward a window. Cardinals don’t migrate far away from their birthplaces but still sometimes due to the fear of predators, they may be forced to migrate.

During this time, it is possible for them to hit your windows because they may not be able to see them in a hurry.

4. Cardinals May Not Notice Windows

One of the most common reasons cardinal keeps flying into window is that they may not notice the windows and fly into them. They may do so in the early morning hours when it is still dark outside. Apart from that, sometimes the windows are so clear that they may not even notice the glass.

This is also one of the main reasons in areas with taller buildings. The windows are usually very clean and cardinals cannot see them before they fly into them.

How to Stop Cardinals From Flying into Windows?

A cute pair of cardinals

After learning about the main reasons why these birds fly into windows, it is time for me to share some tips that can help you stop them. Well, you can try all of the methods and see which one works best for you.

1. Use Window Films

You can use window films to stop birds from flying into your windows. These are specially made for this purpose so it is better to go with them instead of trying something else.

The clear ones are built in such a way that they reflect UV rays making it difficult for birds to see them. So whenever they get near the window, they will go away because of the reflected UV rays.

Thus, this method is a win-win situation as you can prevent birds from flying into windows and also save energy by using fewer lights.

2. Use Screens

You can also use screens to prevent birds from flying into windows especially those made for this purpose. They are usually available in home improvement stores and come with a mesh that cannot be penetrated by birds.

The screens are very good at preventing birds from coming near windows but you will have to make sure they do not fall off as well. So you will have to make sure they are installed properly and securely.

3. Use Shading Systems

Another way of preventing birds from flying into windows is by using shading systems. These come with a bracket that can be attached to the window frame and then something heavy can be placed on it like a big stone block.

This is very much like a screen and can be placed either on your window or outside. Since the weight of these systems is not distributed over a large area, so there won’t be much damage done to your windows as well.

4. Scare Them Away

You can also try scaring them away with bird scare tape that emits noise whenever it is touched. I have personally used them since my windows are big and face the street.

I was able to prevent birds from flying into my windows through this method but you also need to be careful when using these tapes.

You should place them in such a way that it doesn’t harm the birds or create any other issues apart from scaring them.

5. Tape Your Windows

The next method that can help you prevent cardinals from running into your windows is by taping them. This is just like what I said before. Your windows might be very clear, so the birds can’t see them.

To help them identify the windows, you can use any color tape. Simply just take a few strips of colored tape but make sure it is very bright and easily noticeable.

Whenever a cardinal or any other bird is flying near, it will see the tape. This way they can easily detect windows and avoid colliding with them.

cardinal looking for food

6. Attach a Fine-Mesh Netting

This method may come in handy for those with special skills. If you are into DIY and crafts and know how to make things from wool then you can easily make fine mesh netting.

However, you can also purchase one online and install it 2 to 5 inches away from your windows. it will help the birds to easily notice the window in their way.

7. Use Frosted Privacy Films

If you don’t mind covering your windows for the whole mating season then you can use this method. All you need is a frosted privacy film and cover your window with it. Most of these films are easily available in different online stores.

They are really good at preventing birds from colliding with your windows and are very easy to install. You can easily remove them later or change the tape if you don’t want it anymore.

8. Install External Shutters

External shutters can also be helpful in this situation. They are very effective at preventing birds from flying into your windows, especially during the mating season.

The good news is that they are easy to install and don’t require much work on your end. You just need to attach them properly to your window frame or on the wall outside your house.

9. Relocate Your Bird Feeder

If birds are more of a nuisance than they are beneficial then simply remove your bird feeders. This way, the window collisions will be prevented and you won’t have to use anything to stop them from running into your windows.

10. Turn Off the Lights

The last but not the least method that you can use is by turning off your lights. Just as I mentioned earlier, birds may confuse the light coming from the window with the natural light.

If you can’t turn off the lights just cover the blinds and it will help you avoid unwanted situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

A beautiful cardinal sitting on tree branch
How do I stop the Cardinals from attacking my windows?

You can use different methods such as covering your windows, turning off the lights, moving the feeder away, etc. to stop cardinals from attacking the window.

What does it mean when a cardinal keeps hitting your window?

When a cardinal keeps hitting your window it simply means the bird is seeing its own reflection. Mostly birds try to scare away others so that they can easily enjoy their feasts without getting disturbed.

Why do birds intentionally fly into windows?

Birds intentionally fly into windows whenever they see the food inside or mostly to fight their reflection. Fighting with their reflection is often a dangerous case because they can hurt themselves badly.

What are cardinals scared of?

Cardinals are scared of hawks, owls, and ospreys because they would enjoy dining on them.

Final Words

This is all you need to know about why cardinals fly into windows and how you can prevent them from doing so. I hope this article was helpful to you and if it was, then do share it with your friends as well.

Feel free to leave a comment in the section below if you have any questions or need any other help. I will try my best to offer you the best possible solution.

If you found this article useful then do share it with others as well. If you have any feedback, suggestions, or even questions then feel free to leave a comment in the section below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can! Thank You!

Moreover, if you notice a female cardinal keeps hitting window then this might be because she wants to come inside and make a nest.

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