It’s not common to see a bird staring at its own reflection in a window for an extended period of time. But there’s a bird in Australia that’s made the headlines for its habit of fixing its gaze on its own reflection in the glass. Needless to say, its behavior raised some concerns among those who saw it, until a woman wrote a note that explained it all.
In March 2017, a photograph showing a bush stone-curlew staring at its own reflection with a note above it went viral on the internet. The note read: “I’m a bush stone curlew. I’m fine. I just like to stare at myself in the window.”
The note was written by Caitlin Raynor, a volunteer with Wildcare Australia, to reduce the concerns that passersby had for the bird that would look at its reflection outside a building at Queensland University of Technology’s Kelvin Grove campus in Australia. It’s done the rounds on social media for its persistent and daily practice of staring, which usually lasts up until about 4 p.m. each day.
The bird had gained so much attention that there was even a Facebook page created for it.
“They’re primarily nocturnal birds, so they don’t get to see their reflection at night,” she explained to ABC News. “Staring at their reflection in windows is something these crazy birds just like to do. Since they don’t demonstrate any aggressive behavior when doing it I can only imagine they’re just enthralled with the other bird they’re seeing.”
Raynor said that as a volunteer with Wildcare Australia, she had received lots of phone calls about curlews.
“It’s a relatively common phone call … people say there’s a bird standing in a corner and automatically you know it’s going to be a curlew,” she said.
“The people who ring the hotline think the bird should be running away, but their defence is not to run away … just stand still and pretend people can’t see them.”
If you happen to see a curlew staring at its own reflection, Raynor said that it’s best to leave it alone.
“In this case there’s nothing hurting the bird and it tends to move off … it’s just a matter of waiting,” Raynor said. “If it’s a consistent problem we suggest someone try and rectify the situation … say by putting posters up to get rid of reflection.”
Now you know there’s no need to be alarmed if you see a curlew staring at a window. Who knows, it may be quite content in doing so too!