Thursday, 5 March 2015

Headbanger


This little fellow's behaviour has been most disconcerting over the last few days. He (and I am making a presumption here) has been repeatedly throwing himself against our living room window. I'm amazed that he has not done himself any serious damage. Although we have previously observed long tailed-tits hovering around the window frames in search of grubs, this one is behaving noticeably differently. He collides into the window, before yo-yoing down to land on the outer sill, where he sits looking in, before flying off and then launching into repeat action replays. He does vary window panes. What is also noticeable is that he is on his own which is most unlike long-tailed tits as they like companions. There is a bird feeder in view of the window and I have noticed that he is taking time out to feed which is a relief. All that frenzied activity must seriously delete his energy stores and he is only a small bird.

We've been wondering why he has been behaving so. Perhaps as spring draws near it could be related to thoughts of mating? Maybe he sees himself in the window and thinks that he is a she? Has anybody else seen long tailed-tits behave like this? In the meantime whilst this activity continues window cleaning will be postponed and the windows will remain firmly shut!

32 comments:

  1. Poor thing, he must be terribly confused. I've never seen a long tailed tit in our garden but I have a feeder which attaches to the window and we get blue tits and coal tits feeding on that, it's lovely to see them so close. I've noticed lots of great tits in the garden just recently too.

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    1. I think that he is certainly not his normal self Jo. Seeing birds close up is such a welcome diversion in the winter months and we are lucky to count long-tailed tits as regular visitors though usually they come as a small but noisy flock.

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  2. I do wonder what would happen if you open your window next he does that again, will he actually go in and stay? Hmmm...

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    1. Hmm ..... not going to try guys .... having had one bird come inside the house a few years ago :)

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  3. How odd. We stayed in a cottage in Chester one November, where a blue tit always tapped at our bedroom window in the morning in a similar fashion to what you've observed. Perhaps it's something northern birds do ;)

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    1. First thing in the morning wouldn't be so bad VP - in fact it could be a useful alarm clock substitute. This little bird is not as considerate as it's going on all day. Now nobody has told the birds about the north/south divide yet .... :)

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  4. I've seen other species do this. I think it is that he sees his reflection as a male rival. Often they do the same thing with car wing mirrors.

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    1. Oh I'm so glad that he is not on his own Sue. Thanks for your suggestion. It had not crossed my mind that he might see the reflection as a fellow male which would certainly would explain his behaviour. I will have to keep an eye open on the car as well as it is usually parked up fairly close to the window,

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    2. Robins are notorious for attacking their reflection and once when we were in a hide a wagtail kept attacking ts reflection on the window so it's a behaviour seem on various species.

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  5. We have a Robin that did this for weeks and weeks last autumn, then he stopped, I know Robins are territorial, so maybe he saw his reflection as another Robin trying to move in on his place?

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    1. Interesting to read that it's not just confined to long-tailed tits Rona but I do hope that it's not going to go in for weeks and weeks :)

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  6. I agree with Sue or it could be he is just a nutter. The long tailed tits in our garden never come anywhere near the house - they are my favourite garden bird I have to say.

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    1. They are a indeed a lovely bird Elaine and possibly my favourite along with the robin.

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  7. Ah well, the jury is out. If he's fighting his reflection then he's doing it sumo style, trying to bulldoze himself out the way. I reckon your windows are so clean that he isn't seeing them. It's just taking him a little while to make the connexion that there's an invisible barrier there.

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    1. Sumo style is a brilliant way of describing his antics Rob. I'm surprised that he is not done himself any permanent damage. The windows were cleaned just before Christmas so they are not pristine any more :) Hopefully he will eventually realise that his behaviour is futile.

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  8. I've never had a bird do this here, but the explanations offered by some of the commenters make sense. This is my excuse for not washing my very dirty windows:)

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  9. Join the club, Anna! They're doing it here as well...tits, blackbirds...driving me nuts as well as making a mess of the windows. I think it has something to do with mating season, maybe they see themselves and think it's an opponent, whatever...just try to ignore it ;) happy weekend!

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    1. I count myself lucky after reading your comment Annette. If there were vast numbers engaged in such activity I would have to camp out until the mating season was over. It's more disconcerting than annoying with just the one offender. Hope that you had a good weekend.

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  10. I have seen Great Tits attacking car mirrors and it is unusual to see a Long Tailed Tit on its own.
    Great photo.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Brian. It's most unusual to see a solitary long-tailed tit. I do hope that he grows out of this phrase soon and rejoins his companions.

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  11. I think it is a male attacking what he thinks is a rival in his territory, but I've only ever seen robins and magpies doing it.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Pauline. I'm grateful for small mercies - would not like to see a magpie repeatedly hurl itself agains the window! I think my nerves would be shattered never mind the windows.

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  12. What a dear little thing, I hope he won' t hurt himself. I once put a mirror in the garden in an old doorway to make the garden look bigger. I had to remove it because a blackbird spent entire days attacking it.

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  13. There are male peacocks at our nearby stately home which 'attack' cars when they see their reflection in the paintwork. This is my excuse for keeping both car and windows less than sparkling clean!

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    1. Now that sounds rather perturbing Jane. I imagine that a peacock could inflict serious damage on motor vehicles! Makes sense to have slighly dusty windows :)

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  14. We had a similar problem with a bird here last year...he is probably seeing himself thinking it a male rival for his territory.

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    1. So it's a universal phenomenon then Donna :)

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  15. When we visited ED one time a chaffinch was doing this and we decided it was definitely to do with the reflection, assuming it was a territorial issue rather than an expression of mating interest in the reflection.

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    1. ED Cathy - rubs head? :) The vote certainly seems to be going with it being a matter of contesting his territory.

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  16. I've a wee robin that does exactly the same thing. I even tried putting some food on the window ledge for him fearing he'd do himself some damage but he ignores the food! Odd behavior what ever the reason.

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    1. That was a good tactic Angie. Must be serious though if he's ignoring food!

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.