Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hooded Warbler Aggression

Over the last several days, a male Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrina) has been aggressively attacking the windows on the north side of the building at the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest. Robins, Mockingbirds, and Northern Cardinals are especially prone to this type of behavior.

The Hooded Warbler is not celebrating our recent installation of energy-efficient windows. Neither is the bird making a statement regarding our infrequent window cleaning schedule. In fact, a really dirty window would likely prevent the behavior we are observing. The male Hooded Warbler is defending his breeding territory. When he catches sight of another male of his species in his territory, he promptly addresses the situation in an effort to send the other male on his way. However, when our Hooded Warbler pecks at the window, the insolent trespasser pecks right back. This immediately ratchets up the aggression on "both" sides.

Speaking of sides, Gary Larson's The Far Side covered this topic in the attached cartoon.

No comments: