I've spent a couple hours lately watching a cardinal attacking cars and trucks at a gravel lot in a wooded area that is used mostly in the evenings. The lot is in the middle of a cardinal territory, so when the cars show up, the male bird spends a lot of time looking for and finding potential rivals in the reflections of the mirrors, windows, and even well-waxed car exteriors.
Here's a slow-mo video of what a cardinal car attack can look like:
It's a lot of fun to watch. But not perhaps if it is your car and the bird is attacking it every day, and even pooping all over the doors or windows. What do you do then?
- Car Cover--The best solution is to buy a car cover and throw it over the entire car so the bird can't find and attack any reflective surfaces.
- Move the Car--If you don't want to be bothered with the expense or trouble of putting on a car cover, perhaps you can park elsewhere? Watch the bird to see how far it is traveling to defend its territory and perhaps you can park farther away where it won't be bothered by the car. If your car is parked within sight of trees and bushes where it is singing all day, you will be a sure target for car attacks.
- Cover the windows or mirrors--Watch the bird and see if it is attacking its reflection in the mirror or in the window. That will tell you which reflective surface you need to make non-reflective. You can cover side mirrors with plastic grocery bags or windows with a tarp or anything else. Some folks just rub the mirror (or the window) with a bar of soap--though then you would need to wash off the soap with a rag every time you use the car. You can also fold the mirrors in towards the car so he can’t see it, that should get him to move along as well.
If you are lucky, the hormones only make birds do this for a month or two during the breeding season, so it won’t be something you will have to live with forever…just when the weather gets nice, and the birds get busy! But some birds will have two or even three nests over the breeding season, so it could go on for a several months.