I was getting into my car one afternoon in late April when I noticed the driveway near the driver door had a large number of bird droppings, as did the door and the hood. The car was not parked under a tree so I was surprised by the mess. I went about my business and soon forgot about the subject.
Early the next morning I happened to look out a window toward the driveway and spotted a robin standing on my car. Was this the culprit with the overactive cloaca?
As I watched, it jumped to the other car, took a quick look around, and flew into the garden shed. And then did it again! Intrigued, I grabbed a camera, and through the window, took a few quick shots of its next attack...
I was able to sneek behind some shrubbery and closely observe the scene. The bird would jump from car-to-car, or, from one one side of the car to the other, always near the side view mirrors, and then either fly from a car or from the ground in front of the cars, into the window of the shed.
I moved out into the middle of the street to get a different perspective, shooting when I wasn't dodging cars as people headed off to work. From this vantage point it was obvious that the bird was attacking its own reflection in the car windows, mirrors, and the shed window!
I snuck back to the shrubs where I was out of sight of the bird as he was flitting between the cars, and had an excellent vantage point to see his attacks on the shed window.
After about a half-hour of this cycle, the bird seemed to lose interest and flew off giving me an opportunity to take a closer look at the car windows and mirrors.
The next morning was a cloudy and gray day with occasional rain but the bird was back and at it again!
I wondered what the action might look like from inside the shed, so I closed myself off inside and waited. It didn’t take long for the bird to appear on the cars and from there to begin his attacks.
The attack was usually feet-first up near the top of the glass (I didn't miss getting the head, it was above the window), then as the bird tried to hover and contunue scratching or pecking, it would start to slide lower down the window as it lost altitude.
So what was the reason for all this roguish behavior?
It's the classic tale of the birds and the bees...
1) it was mating season and,
2) this female was in the immediate vicinity taking in the action...
Was she impressed enough that a couple weeks later I might find the intended result of all this instinct-driven bluster?
I also attempted to get some shots of attacks on the vehicle sideview mirrors and windows from inside the cars, but the bird wouldn’t cooperate. But here's a shot taken days later showing the results of attacks on the shed window. So that's what all the mess was on the window that I had cleaned at least twice previously (as shown earlier in shots of attacks from a position outside the shed)!
Suddenly, another male appeared on the scene. I didn’t have the best lens on the camera to capture this kind of action, but things happen when they happen so I made due with what I had available.
... then headed outside to investigate and get a closer look.
focusing on the natural world