[Tweeters] Crazy Robins

Patrick McMillan (MACBU) patmcmil at microsoft.com
Tue Mar 28 13:31:47 PST 2006

Thanks for all your replies. I seem to have some really aggressive
Robins on my hands!


From: J & B Adamowski LaComa [mailto:jennandbryan at msn.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 1:29 PM
To: Patrick McMillan (MACBU); tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: RE: [Tweeters] Crazy Robins

This type of behavior is fairly common this time of year as birds are
both competing for territory and mates. I have had Robins, Sparrows and
even a Flicker "battle" with themselves in the reflections of mirrors
and windows. Last year I had a client with a brass door plate on the
front door who had to cover it with paper for a couple of months because
a Towhee was attcking the front door all day long! A Song Sparrow was
notorious for following around cars at a local wholesale nursery and
attacking the car mirrors. Too funny to watch but a little disturbing
to listen to.

You can solve this problem by simply putting something over the
windows that doesn't allow the birds to see their own reflections.
Shade cloth or weed barrier works great as it still allows the light to
get into the yard but the reflection cannot be viewed by the crazy and
hyped up birdies! Good luck!


Shoreline, Wa.

jennandbryan at msn.com


From: "Patrick McMillan (MACBU)" <patmcmil at microsoft.com>
To: <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Tweeters] Crazy Robins
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 13:18:35 -0800


This is the first time I've posted to this group. I've been
witnessing some odd Robin behavior around our house that I'm desperate
to get some insight into.

We live in a North Seattle neighborhood with lots of trees and
bushes. From most parts of the house, all you can see is green. So I'm
assuming there's no shortage of good nest sites. This is our third
spring in the house. The house has lots of big windows and has two
floors - a main floor and a basement. This year, for the first time
since we've been in this house, we are witnessing the strangest Robin
behavior. For the last several weeks, every day, at any hour between sun
up and sundown one or more Robins (I think it's more than one, but have
never actually seen two doing this at the same time) perch on a branch
just outside any of six or seven windows around the house and then fly
into the window! Crash. Then they perch back on the branch, rest for a
second, and try again! And again, and again off and on throughout the

I could understand if they did this once or twice, or maybe
dozens of times for one day at one window. But they repeat this futile
enterprise dozens of times (probably more) *each day*! The walls beneath
some of the windows are now soiled with many days worth of droppings,
even though there's no ledge of any sort for the birds to perch on,
which indicates that they're probably repeating this exercise a lot.
There's nothing obvious in any of the rooms the Robins are trying to get
into that seems like it would attract them. One of their target windows
is on the garage. Some are dark basement rooms with no greenery of any
kind inside or outside.

Is this behavior normal springtime behavior and I've just been
missing it all these years? Are our local Robins going nuts? If no one
knows (which I'm guessing is the case since this kind of thing is
generally unknowable unless you speak Robin), does anyone have or has
anyone heard of any theories about this? I'm dying to know what's going
on here.

Oh, and although I would love to somehow avert this annoying
behavior, I have my doubts that there's anything I can really do.
Several days we've put down the shades in the house, only to listen as
the Robins continued to crash repeatedly into those same windows
throughout the day!


Pat McMillan


patmcmil at microsoft.com

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