A Fun-Loving Guide to the Natural World for Kids and Adults

Bluebirds Pecking at Mirrors

Going out to see our horses the other day, we discovered a pair of bluebirds doing battle with the large outdoor arena mirror.

The usual explanation for this behavior is that the birds see their reflections, assume that the reflections are interloper birds, and spend a lot of time trying to chase the reflections away.  You can prevent the birds from stressing (or injuring) themselves by hanging something over the reflective surface.

This sounds like a pretty good explanation, but perhaps we should hesitate a bit before we decide what a bird is thinking.  After all, it wouldn’t be too tough to find some human behaviors that defy easy explanation.  Consider a behavior such as shouting at a television during football games.  Surely the human knows that no one inside the television is hearing their shouts, but still the shouting persists.  Is it too much of a stretch, then, to think that the birds may know it’s a reflection, but still persist in pecking?

It might be fun to come up with alternate explanations for why birds might peck at their reflections in mirrors and windows.  If you have any good ideas, let us know in the comments!

2 Responses to “Bluebirds Pecking at Mirrors”

  1. WOW!!! Superb photographs very beautiful. Bought a bigggggg smile on my grumpy face.


  2. Hello Delson! Thank you so much! We’ve justvisited your blog, by the way, and LOVE the photos! We’re adding you to our Awesome Nature Blogs blogroll. Great picture of you, by the way, as well =)

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