Q: It’s 6:00 in the morning, and a male Song Sparrow has perched on our bedroom window sill and is scratching around and peering in. Loudly he sings a melodious solo, and then flies forward and thumps against the window. Then he does it again, and again, and again! Finally he flies to a high branch in our backyard, and sings another solo! The window strikes must be harmless because he’s done it at least two weeks straight.
A: This little guy mistakes his reflection for another male song sparrow – a competitor for the attention of a female. He’s singing to signal his territorial boundaries. He flies against our window to frighten away the “other male” he sees in the reflection. American Robins are notorious for this behavior, too. The good news is that when nesting season is over, the males seem to settle down substantially.