May 08, 2004

Chapter 1 : The Red Cardinal Strikes Richland

I'm writing this post not only because of the fact that it's about a strange occurence (Weird NJ Worthy? No.) but because I'm hoping someone out there can shine some light as to why this is happening (besides the obvious).

A little over a week and a half ago a red cardinal started crashing into the window in my kitchen. My sister Kate first noticed it (or possibly Thom or the Smitten did, but they don't talk, yet). The bird is relentless. It flies up to the bush in front of the window, perches, aims and fires itself into the window. Now possibly it sees it's own reflection and it's become addicted to itself. I see this no differently then how a woman will take hours in the bathroom to get ready to go out.

I used to find it really amusing that humans look in the mirror at least once a day for their whole lives while an animal will go it's whole life without even knowing what a mirror is, yet it looks like this bird has proven me wrong. He's infatuated with what's in the mirror. So I wonder, why doesn't he act this way to the other birds around him? Why does he act this way only to his reflection? What does his reflection have that the other birds don't?

The cardinal has become an everyday occurence around here, just another routine. As simply as the sun comes and goes, so does the red cardinal. It chooses to strike only during daylight hours, though. What it does beyond that time I am unsure, and I could care less. As I write this, it continues to come crashing into the window leaving marks of it's beak parading all over the glass. The bird also sports a mohawk milliseconds before it chooses to strike the target.

Thom seems to be more preoccupied with the bird then the Smitten, which leaves me to believe that Thom has had some run-ins with birds in his former life (aka the time in Atlantic City or wherever the hell he was before Kapluna scooped him up). He chooses to stalk the red one from the inset next to the kitchen where he has a nice panoramic view of the bird landing and attacking. I'm half tempted to let Thom loose on the bird to see what he could come up with...possibly persuade the lil' bugger to move on from his life here in Richland.

So without further ado I present Chapter 1 of the Mojito Carcasses : The Red Cardinal Strikes Richland.

Please post your explanations of this occurence and possibly how to end it (without a {potatoe} gun).


Posted by Charlie at May 8, 2004 04:55 PM

oh my god, that is the best thing i ever saw! your so damn creative i cant stand it! im being serious, i was crackin up watching that. makes my dumb posts look like crap thats for sure!

ok, as for the bird thing, i was thinking, instead of the bird seeing his reflection and liking it, maybe the bird is "mentally challenged" and when he sees his reflection he actually thinks its another bird and that he can just fly up to the bird, and just doesnt understand what is happening each time he hits the window and so he just keeps doing it over and over again.

my other theory is that the bird is senile, and so even though he tries to fly into the window (which is not uncommon for a bird to do at least one time in his life...especially if its a window cleaned with windex) and he hits it, he keeps doing it over and over, cause he just can't remember doing it already.

wait, i have one more theory on this...maybe the bird flew into the window the first time and hit his head so hard that he is just whacked the hell out...or, maybe its like how humans do crazy things for the rush, like body piercings and things like that, he runs his head into the window cause its just a fun thing for him to do.

oh i got one more, maybe he is like a steve-o type bird (you know the guy from jackass and wild boyz) and he likes doing things to himself that hurts to make others laugh. next time he flies into the window take a look around the trees and see if there are a bunch of birds in there watching him and laughing their asses off...i bet thats what it is.

Posted by: angela at May 8, 2004 05:47 PM

I personally decided that this bird must be nesting in the bush right outside the window, that maybe it even has a family in there (or at least considers the bush and its surroundings his own territory). So, when Red Cardinal from Hell sees his reflexion in the window he thinks it's another male and gets territorial. Perhaps the mohawk is a cardinal sign to other males that they are about to attack. So not only is this bird showing the "other bird" (his reflection) that he's about to attack, but that "other bird" is showing him right back.

Silly territorial beings. I can relate though. I get into fights with my reflection all the time...I've lost many a mirror that way.

Posted by: kapluna at May 8, 2004 11:10 PM

Also. Quality video. I love my cats. It's quality that they got their own video posted online. It's all thanks to that silly little bird. Well, that and the fact that my cats are just so natuarlly cute that you can't resist posting pictures of them everywhere.

Oh and Chuck, Thom doesn't appreciate the nickname you gave him in the video credits. In fact, he teared up right after he saw it. Shame on you. It's not his fault he's always got the swampass. For all we know he could be really old and have uncontrollable elderly-like gas problems.

Posted by: kat at May 8, 2004 11:15 PM

Stankass Bojangles lives.

Posted by: Chulz at May 8, 2004 11:43 PM

Are you out of your mind? Or is it that you have too much time on your hands!!!!

Posted by: Terrie at May 9, 2004 10:19 PM

I'm out of my mind and I have way too much time on my hands, it's a great combination ;)

Posted by: Chulz at May 11, 2004 10:55 AM

I had a kamikaze bird outside my window at home too. He came back three years in a least i think it was the same bird. After the second year he finally put a crack in our window. I think he finally knocked himself out one day. Poor guy. I miss him.

Posted by: kait at May 11, 2004 09:17 PM

Frankly, I think its a conspiracy. Its not the same bird, but all the cardinals in South Jersey have a vendetta against the Campbell family. I don't know what you guys did to those birds, but you're gonna pay big time for it. The Cardinals will ensure it.

Next time on The Sopranos.....?

Posted by: Steph at May 11, 2004 09:26 PM

Wait a minute.....YOURS is the house with the kamikaze bird that kept coming back??? Dammit, I thought it was their house. I knew someone had a bird like that. We called him Kamikaze too. Haha! Thanks, Kaity, now I don't feel so stupid...

Posted by: Steph at May 11, 2004 09:31 PM

is there a chapter 2? and if so, are we going to have to wait like 3 years before we get to see it or what?

Posted by: angela at May 20, 2004 08:57 AM

Of course there is a Chapter 2. It's in preparation as I speak...

Posted by: Chulz at May 20, 2004 09:44 AM

well hurry the heck up, we are waiting.

Posted by: angela at May 20, 2004 12:50 PM

I agree with the territorial theories, Charlie. It's a dumb bird. I'm glad to see you gots a blog too. It's a family affair. How about Kara, Charlie, Kaylee? Are they hooked up? Cool, I'll link you soon too. Keep posting please. I need more updates.
Kim C.

Posted by: Kim at May 21, 2004 10:35 AM

We're on the eve of chapter 2...yeah...I'm getting there...

Posted by: Chulz at May 21, 2004 02:29 PM

We had a cardinal that was doing this - actually, there was a pair and they were both doing it. I read in a book somewhere that male cardinals will attack their reflection, thinking it's another bird in their territory, but in our case there was a female involved too - in fact, it was mostly her- we didn't know what kind of bird it was until the male got in on the action. We also had a little figurine in our window. I thought that maybe the cardinals were trying to nest in the tree outside our window and maybe the figurine was threatening in some way, so I removed it. They promptly stopped crashing into the window.

I'm afraid I can't view your video - I'll have to try another browser.

Posted by: Christy at May 23, 2004 09:34 PM

I think it's fair to say the cardinal has kicked the bucket. My neighbor came over while I was outside cleaning some stuff the other morning to tell me she is pretty sure a cat got it, having found some red feathers around where the cat usually roams. Since she told me I haven't seen the cardinal at all (it's been a good week now).

Her and her husband would watch the cardinal and his mate (for life), because the two of them ate out of her yard every day. She said she noticed him doing his daily dive into our kitchen window as well. She's pretty sure he was the only cardinal around these parts, and said she's seen him the past 3 years. I guess I have to start paying attention to more birds besides the ones that crash into my window daily. That way I'll better understand these things...

Posted by: kat at June 7, 2004 02:33 PM

Kate, STFU I saw that bitz on Saturday. ;)

Posted by: Chulz at June 7, 2004 02:38 PM

Maybe the bird could see the cats in the window and, if he and his mate had a nest, he was dive bombing the cat to protect his nest. Obviously, the cat WAS his nemesis.

Posted by: Georgia at June 8, 2004 12:07 PM

I have the same problem with a female cardinal crashing on a daily basis into several of our large picture windows. I obtained some CD bird discs to hang in each of the windows (have a reflective finish, along with a picture of a raptor, which is supposed to scare away the birds). For a couple of weeks, the bird did not return. Then, all of a sudden she came back with a vengeance, taking flying swoops at the discs as though the images only egged her on. I am firmly convinced this bird is psychotic. Next, I'm going to try hanging spiders on the windows (battery activated device that looks like a large spider is is activated by movement). Utterly rediculous but I'm on a quest to stop this thing.

Posted by: Donna Sasse at May 3, 2005 06:05 PM

We too have a female red cardinal crashing at our window. I have tried almost everything. I removed everything from the window,tried to cut down on the reflection,I even went as far as to remove things from the counter thinking she wanted in to get it. So I gave up and put a mirror in the window to give her someting to really look at. However today I am going to hang the mirror in the tree and see if it stops the crashing. It really is starting to get to the us.

Posted by: Pauline at May 5, 2005 07:51 AM

I Am Having a problem with a Male Cardinal Crashing into my bedroom window He wakes me up every morning at Dawn The only thing that stops them From doing this is to Hang Black Trash Bags or anthing that they can't see trough up over the window so they can't see thier reflections I already have two of my beroom windows covered because of this Insane little red terror and he Has Moved on to the Nexy One My House is going to look like a real bunch of hics by the time he is done.

Posted by: crazydaisy at May 17, 2005 08:15 AM

I Am Having a problem with a Male Cardinal Crashing into my bedroom window He wakes me up every morning at Dawn The only thing that stops them From doing this is to Hang Black Trash Bags or anthing that they can't see trough up over the window so they can't see thier reflections I already have two of my beroom windows covered because of this Insane little red terror and he Has Moved on to the Nexy One My House is going to look like a real bunch of hics by the time he is done.

Posted by: crazydaisy at May 17, 2005 08:16 AM

We have a male red cardinal that started attacking the living room window three years ago. We have since moved out, rebuilt the house (making it bigger), and moved back in. The bird now has many more windows to attack, and he's still at it. We've named him "Darwin" after the awards. Cardinals are territorial creatures and he is fighting his doppelganger for his territory (and his mate, whom he treats like dirt at the birdfeeder). I think some cardinals catch onto the fact that this is not a real interloping rival, but apparently Darwin smacked his head so hard early on that he's unable to procede along the normal learning curve. His attacks start at 5:30 am on our bedroom dormer and gradually move around the house with the sunlight until he finishes with the tv room windows at dinnertime. The only reasonable solution I can offer is to put screens in your windows; Darwin doesn't attack those. If they have half-screens, get a piece of screen cloth from the hardware store and attach it to the top, unscreened half of the window. (This will look better than the black plastic bags.) Or get outdoor cats...

Posted by: czechmate at May 17, 2005 01:14 PM

We too, have a female cardinal that has to be mentally challenged. After weeks of her constantly pecking at our kitchen window, I finally had to hang my kitchen curtains on the outside of the windows! On windy days, she will sit in the bush hoping for the curtains to blow to the side enough for her to get some pecks in. Then we discovered that because we covered those windows, she decided to attack the mirrors on our truck and car that are parked in the garage! She has scratched these really good so we now have to keep them covered as well. The male cardinal never attacks, just follows the female around at a distance. Sure would love to hear any solutions!

Posted by: Grandma Moo at May 30, 2005 02:17 PM
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