Why are the windows in my house now tiled with Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you might ask? Specifically, photos of Spike from various months of the year-gone-past-calendar 2005 (please don't ask why I still have said calendar in my possession):
The answer is simple. Zombie Cardinal.:
How do I know this cardinal is a zombie? There is simply no other explanation for a bird that repetitively throws himself into every window in the house, and occasionally the chimney, for over a month without incurring some sort of physical damage. Any normal living creature would clearly be bloodied and beaten to a pulp by now. Not Zombie Cardinal. Oh no. He can bash himself senseless into windows all the while attempting to peck through said windows, however futile his efforts, for hours on end. From sun-up to sun-down, until those diurnal rod-less eyes of his can no longer see in the dark, he attempts to beat his way through the panes. His objective? Isn't it obvious? He needs to eat my brains by way of pecking out my eye balls right on through the sockets in order to fuel his endless defense of his territory.
I was at a loss. Darn Zombie Cardinal was waking me up at the crack of dawn every single morning. Without fail. Soon, the activity increased until last week it peaked; he was pecking and throwing himself constantly into the windows and anything else shiny on the house that apparently caused a reflection of himself. Every. Two. Minutes. 24 hours a day. INSANE. This bird was crazy!!
I shared this story with some friends, and one of them - bless her heart! - sent me a link to a similar story in Normandy, France: The Birds
The guy put up photos of hijackers in the widows to scare of the birds - and it worked! This does make sense, I thought to myself. I mean, I tried to take a photo of Zombie Cardinal, but every time I approached the window too closely, he flew off, only to return a few minutes later and begin the pecking/bashing with fervour once again. I looked around the house for any life-size-ish head shots and what did I find? Calendar Spike! Up he went. And just like magic, Zombie Cardinal disappeared. I still see him flying about the yard, but he no longer throws himself headlong into the windows. Luckily, I have no neighborhood association, so Calendar Spike stays until Zombie Cardinal is done nesting for the season.