why do birds peck at windows

Why Do Birds Peck at Windows?

Most bird owners and wildlife admirers have wondered why birds peck at windows. While the act of pecking at windows sometimes looks aggressive to humans, there are usually reasons for this behavior. Understanding the causes of window pecking can help alleviate the problem and keep birds safe.

Reasons why birds peck at windows

Birds are complex creatures and there are several possible causes of window pecking. Some of these include:

  1. Reflection: A window may reflect light or other birds, which can attract the attention of a bird. The bird may then peck at the window trying to interact with what it sees.
  2. Territorial Behavior: Sometimes a bird will see a reflection of itself in a window and perceive it to be a competing bird. The bird, thinking it has to protect its territory, will peck at the window.
  3. Curiosity: Birds are curious creatures, and will often investigate novel objects, like a window. Sometimes a window may seem like an interesting toy, prompting a bird to peck at it repeatedly.
  4. Illness: Sometimes an illness or parasite can cause a bird to lose their feeling of security and make them hyperactive, causing them to peck at windows.
  5. Egg Laying: In some very rare cases, a female bird may try to lay eggs in the reflection of a window, prompting her to peck at the window.

How to Prevent Window Pecking

While it is impossible to completely prevent a bird from pecking at a window, there are a few steps that can be taken to reduce the problem:

  1. Cover the Window with Film or Cloth: Covering a window can reduce reflections when the sun is shining, which can decrease a bird’s urge to peck at it.
  2. Place a Decoy in the Window: A fake reflection, like a hawk silhouette or a brightly colored artificial bird, can be placed on the window to scare away birds or make them think the window is already taken.
  3. Redirect a Bird’s Attention: It is also possible to redirect the bird from a window by offering it other objects to focus their attention on.
  4. Check a Bird’s Health: A bird that is feeling unwell will be more likely to peck at a window, so it is important to check a bird’s health regularly.


Although window pecking can initially seem to be an aggressive or unnerving behavior, knowing the reasons birds peck at windows can help us to better understand them and reduce the problem. By using the techniques outlined in this article, we can keep birds safe and reduce window pecking.

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