Congratulations to Kyle Tansley for winning the March 2019 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. The image of a male Northern Cardinal attacking his own reflection garnered the most votes. With nearly 2,000 photo-observations submitted this month, it was competitive. But the action shot showing this annual rite of spring won the most attention.
This time of year, as male songbirds increasingly produce more testosterone, singing and territory defense begins. Some males will repeatedly and aggressively fly at, and even strike, reflective surfaces such as windows and mirrors in attempts to drive away a perceived intruder. This behavior can go on and on throughout the breeding season, potentially injuring the bird. The best course of action is to cover the reflective surface. In the case of car mirrors, carry an old pair of large socks and slip them over the mirrors when you park in an aggressive songbird’s territory.
Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking ‘fav’ on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!