Story and photos by Valerie Perse

Sheltering at home has many people itching to get outside — but one American Robin is intent on coming in.

A couple of weeks after the stay-at-home order was put in place in Colorado, my family was greeted by a very persistent visitor. One day, I heard a banging on one of the windows in the dining room, so I went to check it out.

An American Robin was trying to break in. The bird seemed hesitant to leave when I first approached the window, but he soon returned to his routine.

In an effort to deter him I put up a sign: “Hi Mr. Bird, this is a window. Stop flying into it, I do not want you to get hurt anymore. Thanks, Val.” He did not listen.

The author posted signs on her window in an attempt to deter her new bird friend from flying into it. Photo by Valerie Perse.

I opted for a second tactic. I taped pictures of owls to the windows. This was also unsuccessful.

Not only did the owl pictures not work, but they seemed to encourage him even more. Every morning, this determined Robin starts banging into the window bright and early, only stopping at bedtime.

He likes to change up his technique. Sometimes there are multiple thuds in a row, while other times they are more sporadic. Despite the feeling of shock that must follow each collision with the window, he persists.

A picture of an owl soon joined the cautionary sign on the window, but the bird was again at the window before long. Photo by Valerie Perse.

On day 21 of bird-versus-window, the bird mixed it up a bit and changed his scenery. Now he bangs into our basement window and the neighbor’s window.

I am starting to think that he wants to follow where the family goes. If we are upstairs, he will bang on the dining room window; if we are watching a movie downstairs, he will start on the basement window. I hope he doesn’t find his way to my bedroom window.

“I think that he doesn’t know what he’s doing and he’s probably a little bit lonely,” says my cousin Olivia Neilly.

Rain or shine, the bird is bumping into the window. He knows he can leave, though. Every so often he will fly to the reservoir behind our house for a beak break, always returning to the windows.

“I think if the bird keeps trying, he’ll crack the window and be able to get in” says Melanie Perse, my sister. I, for one, would not like to be around if this happens.

Despite his confusion or craziness, I believe there are two key lessons to learn from the American Robin. Number one, if you really care about something, do not give up. Number two, if the first window does not open, try another!

Image courtesy of Sophie Hills