Although they are normally welcome visitors, the territorial nature of blue birds can make them problematic guests. When faced with an unyielding intruder to their territory – their reflection – male blue birds can become quite violent and repeatedly attack the perceived adversary. While covering the mirror or moving your car may help, this problem can be tricky to solve, and you may need to experiment to find the method that works for your resident blue birds.
Why Is This Happening?
While they are certainly beautiful, nature does not adorn male blue birds (Sialia sialis) with such beautiful colors to please human observers – the bold coloration serves to attract females and repel other males. Usually, their colors, songs and postures are enough to keep interlopers at bay; however, their reflections do not yield to such tactics, which escalates the situation. Ultimately, this leads to physical altercations with their reflections, resulting in injured birds and fouled car doors. Blue birds do not limit their attacks to car mirrors – virtually any reflective surface may elicit such a response. Often, because of the sun’s positioning and the birds’ daily activity patterns, these fights occur at about the same time every day.
Cover the Mirror
Anything that works to disrupt the angry bird’s reflection may help prevent them from fighting with your mirrors. Placing a plastic or paper bag over the mirror will certainly do the trick, but you will have to remove it every time you need to drive your car. Keep in mind that the blue bird may fighting with the windows as well as the mirrors, and you may need to cover them as well. You may not need to do this indefinitely; after about two weeks, problem birds will likely have changed their activity patterns and may not find their old adversaries when you uncover the mirrors.
Change the Landscape
Another solution is to move your car, though this is not always practical. You may have to experiment by placing your car in several different locations and orientations. If you have blue bird nesting boxes in your yard, you can consider moving them to change the territory, which may keep them away from your car. You should not move the boxes during the spring or summer when the birds are nesting; instead, wait until the late fall or winter. While this will not address the immediate problem, it may prevent the problem from occurring next year.
Suspended Mylar strips or balloons often help to scare birds away; hang long strips near your car in such a way that they will blow in the breeze – most scare tactics work better if movement is involved. If nothing else works, it may be possible to dissuade the birds with “scarecrows,” such as plastic replicas of owls, hawks or snakes. You can also find several commercial products designed to dissuade birds from attacking your mirrors.