It started innocently enough. Yesterday I had walked into the kitchen just as a cardinal flew into the window. Not just any window – there are twelve in my kitchen altogether – but the one on the southeast corner. Well, one bird - it happens, right?

Then, when I got up this morning and went to close that same window, I noticed feathers and some flesh from a bird on the lower corner. OUCH. That had to hurt. I look down and sure enough – a dead bird. I’m not sure what kind – maybe a night heron. This made me sad. Why has my window started attacking birds??

And just now I heard another thunk. I get up, look below the window, and there is another dead cardinal. I think it’s one of the cardinal children from the family that lives in back. Sheesh – that means I’ve known this cardinal since the day it left its nest.

The island I live on is a wild bird preserve, so this sort of behavior from my window is definitely a problem. What causes a window to turn bad? Was I not cranking it correctly? When I open and close the locks, am I being too rough, too quick? Maybe I should take more time when opening and closing the window.

A more likely theory is that this window does not like my taste in blinds. Well – what can I say about that? I had never had to buy blinds before and wasn’t too interested in it – I just wanted something that would never require maintenance or replacement. And I got the same blinds on all of the windows in the house. The lady at the store seemed to think that was odd – but how much time did she think I’d spend making decisions about blinds?? I just had to cover the windows so that the neighbors won’t point and laugh when I walk around naked.

And how does this window lure the birds to it? Does it call to them on a frequency I can’t hear? Does it simply hide better than the other windows? Or does it somehow appear to birds to be the way to the worlds most wonderful birdbath?

I guess the only question now is: What am I going to do about this homicidal window? Can such things be exorcised? Or do I need to replace the whole window? What if I were to buy new coverings for it – and wouldn’t it look funny if one window in the kitchen had skull-and-crossbones drapes while all the others had wood blinds??

Killer windows (see the upcoming Fox Special, "When Windows Go Bad") can be a serious problem for birds. I've heard that birds are sometimes attracted to reflections of sunlight off the window, and I've also heard that they are actually going for something inside the window. Who knows what silliness lurks in the minds of birds? However, it is certain that they are not, despite what you might think, trying to mate with your blinds.

Exorcism is an option for handling this, like so many other problems in our modern world. But there is another, probably much easier, solution: put a black cutout shaped like a hawk in the window. It doesn't need to be an exact replica of a hawk, just as long as you get the basic points - longish, narrow tail, narrow wings swept slightly back, and black colour. The theory, if I remember it correctly, is that most birds instinctively recognize this as a hawk's shadow, and they go into defensive maneuvers before they even have a chance to think about the likelihood of the whole thing.

I'm not quite sure about the theory, but this definitely does help keep avian death tolls down. And it doesn't even require that there be real hawks in your neighborhood. Instinct will keep most of the wannabe kamikaze birds away.

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