“Thud! ….Thud! …..Thud!”
Every morning the same cardinal tries to fly into her den window — not once, or even twice but over and over again. Each time, the bird sits on the branch of a nearby tree, cocks its little head and stares into the home.
Seconds later, it takes flight and crashes into the glass. It falls out of sight only to rise again seemingly unfazed for another attempt. (Watch the video to see the bird in action — crashing six times in less than one minute.)
“Greg (Jensen’s husband) was up about 6:15 this morning and he told me the bird persisted with this for 45 minutes,” Jensen says.
The Jensens aren’t alone with this bird problem. While some people living in homes with a lot of glass say the birds in their yard are on “concussion protocol” from repeated crashes, the phenomenon became most newsworthy with the recent construction of U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings.
According to a report by the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis, between August and November 2016, at least 60 birds died from colliding into the 200,000 square feet of glass at the stadium. Another 14 birds during the period studied appeared dazed. The chapter says the number is probably even higher since it doesn’t account for birds killed and disposed of by stadium employees.
Ornithologists say birds fly into windows most of the time because they see reflections of outdoor vegetation in the glass and don’t perceive the window to be a barrier in trying to reach it. Other times — especially in the spring when territoriality is high — they perceive their own reflection in the glass as another bird and attempt to attack it.
No one likes to see the birds crash, whether you’re a homeowner in Hamlin, Iowa, or the owner of a professional football team in Minneapolis. The Jensens have tried to remedy the problem — with little success.
“I put up a piece of cardboard on the window,” Jensen says. “I even cut out the shape of an owl and put it into the window. It would…