There is a robin that sits on the fence and then flies into the window repeatedly. This happens every day at dawn and dusk, and sometimes in the afternoon. I am pretty sure it sees itself in the reflection, believes it to be another male, and wants to remove it from its territory.

Needless to say, this is not only annoying for me, but I’d like to prevent the robin from hurting itself. Here is what we have tried so far:

  • A plastic owl to scare it away
  • Thick wire grating that we randomly found on our property to make it hard to ram into the window
  • Masking tape on the window (both blue and tan) to make it “obvious” the reflection isn’t real
  • Taping paper on the inside to make the reflection less pronounced
  • Hanging a bath towel to outright block the reflection

None of this has really worked. The grate just acts as something to perch on as it bangs against the window.

To make matters worse, there is a second window (nears where the below picture was taken) that the robin ALSO started to bang into this year.

Short of completely covering the window from the outside, is there any advice to deter the robin that is easy enough to engineer on two different windows?

Current robin deterrent setup

  • 1
    Just an idea: a full size picture of a sparrow hawk in the window. Mar 27, 2022 at 8:57
  • Probably a cardinal; they are persist at keeping other birds away from their territory , especially during spring breeding . Anything you can do so he does not see his reflection. Mar 30, 2022 at 18:41
  • It’s 100% a robin. We have looked each other in the eye. Mar 30, 2022 at 19:01
  • I am pretty sure it sees itself in the mirror - have you tried removing the mirror to confirm your theory? The mirror should surely be in the window anyway, not opposite, so natural light illuminates you while you look in it? If it's a dual sided mirror, cover the side you don't use?
    – Caius Jard
    Apr 1, 2022 at 6:06
  • 2
    @CaiusJard I changed “mirror” to “reflection” to clarify that my windows are windows and not mirrors. Apr 1, 2022 at 14:39

2 Answers 2


How to prevent a robin from banging into a window?

Had friends that faced a similar problem, but can not remember what species of bird it was.

They attached pieces of coloured plastic on the inside of the window and gave it the appearance of a stained glass window. Do not know if it will work for you, but my friends no longer have this problem.

  • 1
    This seems to be working even with a single color. I’ll hold off a bit on the check mark just in case but I like the results so far. Apr 1, 2022 at 15:03
  • We found just putting all white paper worked too. Mar 3, 2023 at 8:04

Attaching a suction cup bird feeder to the outside of a window can help with bird window collisions because it actually creates a new "destination" for the bird and breaks up the reflection. I'm not sure if this will work for a robin since they aren't really bird-feeder birds. But it might break up the reflection enough.

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