Friday, October 16, 2009

My Mom Has a Stalker

For the past week or week and a half, someone has been trying over and over to gain access to my mom's house through her windows. I have been receiving increasingly frantic emails and phone calls from her about her would-be intruder.

And it's not like he's being subtle about it either. Over and over, multiple times a day, he clunks into her window, regroups, and tries again.

The one responsible for the assault? This guy:

The first word I got about this guy, who I will call, let's say...Sven, was sometime last week when I got this email from my mom:
I have a bird that, yesterday and today, keeps trying to fly though the window into my house. I keep hearing this thunk and I see feather impressions on the outside of the window. I turned on the light inside hoping he wouldn't try to kill himself anymore, but I just heard another thunk. Poor bird.
I emailed her back that she should remove the bird feeder that she must have hanging inside her dining room.

She told me that she'd tried to scare him off by hanging CDs by the door and taping faces to the window. Now I'm not going to go into what *I* think about the CD idea—which is that wild animals like shiny things. Oh, look! I did go into it.

But the faces idea seemed like a good one.

I love that she made her people so happy. I probably would have drawn them grimacing and pointing.

The next day I got a voice mail message: "He's still trying to commit hari-kari! What do I DOOOOOOOOOOO?" Then an email: The bird was continually thunk, thunk, thunking into the window, falling to the patio, and then picking himself up and flying off.

Then later that afternoon, I got a hopeful call from my mom. The bird was gone. "I think he's stopped doing it," she said.

"Do you see his corpse on the porch?" I asked.

"No," she answered, "He probably went somewhere else to die."

But no. Sven was just taking a nap or something. Pretty soon, he was back to casing the joint.

Apparently he'd taken to peeking in the windows. Clearly this bird knows that there is glass there. He wants something that's inside. (Guard your eyeballs, mom.)

I suggested hanging a blanket or something similar on the outside of the window. At the very least I figured it would muffle the sound. My mom took my advice and taped plastic garbage bags to the outside of the window, a decor choice that she termed, "classy." Shortly thereafter, she sent an email with the tentative subject heading "success?"

But no.

Sven took to tearing down part of the bags and then sitting on them to peek inside the window.

It's like he's taunting her.

Now he's rotating between three different windows. Thunk into one. Rip, rip, rip, thunk, into another. Thunk, thunk into the third.

"I refuse to put garbage bags over every window in the house," says my mom. She is completely stressed out about this poor bird and really doesn't want him to kill himself trying to get into her house. But she wasn't willing to follow my suggestion that she just open the door and let him in, so I'm not sure how seriously to take her.

I've gotten many more emails on the subject from her, my favorite of which included the subject head, "cardinal and peace prize." And, no, she wasn't suggesting that the bird receive the peace prize, but I think maybe Obama should put Sven on his to-do list.

The internet has been very little help thus far. There is no shortage of websites about cardinals flying into windows, but few of the conditions seem to apply to Sven and my mom. I've stopped giving her advice and am know just sitting back watching the show and laughing to hear how Sven is fucking with her.

I'll be sad when she sends me his obituary email though. I hope he wises up before that happens.


  1. well obviously, if the two-demential people (faces) peering from the "inside" are happy, then the bird has decided the inside must be worth dying for. It's supposed to do with territorial crap. Maybe your mom should just wave a white flag.

  2. She should tape pics of a lady bird on the window just to mess with him. This is hysterical. She gets cardinals and I get skunks. You guys have all the fun!

  3. Oh. My. God.

    That picture of the bird on top of the garbage bags, looking in, with his tail feathers in shadow is so utterly and completely hilarious that I was howling with laughter, which quickly morphed into spasmodic coughing fits.

    I feel so incredibly bad for your mom because I know that would upset the shit out of me. Even though it isn't her fault, I'm sure she hates the sound of it.

    But still, OMG, this post was HILARIOUS!!

  4. Thats so weird... I wonder if someone tamed him or something, and he got lost and doesn't know how to be a wild bird! Maybe you could find a way to take him to a nature refuge or something?????? (Yeah I'm a sucker for rescuing all animals, even annoying birds!)

  5. OMG too funny! Nothing like this happens at our house! That cardinal obviously loves your mom despite all of her attempts and I love how she's documented all his attempts with pictures!

  6. I absolutely love that your mom has been recording this for posterity. Too, too funny!

    What about taping a picture of a cat to the windows?

  7. EXACT same thing happened at my MIL's house and the bird came back every year. I think he sees his own reflection (?). But what finally worked for her was one of those fake owls you see in garden centers. She placed it higher than the window and it must have frightened the bird away.

  8. Oh, thank GOD your blog is hilarious today! Every post i've been reading this morning has made me either cry or have anxiety attacks! Yours was the last stop of the morning.


    Afraid I've got no sage wisdom for your mom. But I love the pictures!

  9. How about putting a big picture of a cooked Thanksgiving turkey on the window...hmmm...might be a good warning.

  10. Oh my gosh! I can not get over the pic of Sven peeking over the garbage bag!

    When we go camping there is a cardinal who pecks at all the rear view mirror of our cars. Sven's cousin in WV?

  11. This is hilarious! Sorry on your mom's behalf, but I think this is great.

  12. That is one determined bird with a major crush on your Mom!

  13. So funny, I love the pictures! This actually happened to my MIL too and she swore it was his reflection he was running into. I do hope he doesn't kill himself before it's all over!

  14. I've never heard of anything like's crazy! Your poor mom, hopefully a good resolution will happen that won't involve a bird's death!

  15. I second the suggestion of the fake owl outside. Those are supposed to scare off various animals, not sure about cardinals, though.

  16. those pictures are priceless, i think of a seindfeld episode

  17. Had one do something similar a million years ago. What IS IT with cardinals? But my answer would have been the same - let him in and see what he's looking for!

    At my house he would be welcomed by 4 cats but if he wanted in that bad - he'd have to take his chances.

  18. You can get window clings that look like shadows, like cats and owls and stuff. Its supposed to send them packing. Or you can get a recording of a male cardinal, and crank up the volume.

  19. That picture of the bird peeking over the plastic is equal parts hilarious and terrifying.

  20. Duuuude. Is it wrong that this is almost as creepy as The Birds to me?

    The bird itself, not the post.

  21. I'm going to have to start calling you Larious. As in hilarious! Too, too funny. Maybe a recording of a cat going "Meow"? -M

  22. OMG!!!! That photo of the bird peeking over the garbage bag!!!!!! That is SO funny! WTH??? That is one bird who doesn't want to winter outside!!!!!! Maybe she should get a birdcage and just let him in the house.


Thanks for commenting! May you be visited by unicorns and kittens.