Housewrecking Woodpecker

Asked May 1, 2015, 11:55 AM EDT

What do I do about a woodpecker that is tapping away at the siding of my house near my daughter's upstairs bedroom?

Washington County Oregon human-wildlife issues woodpeckers woodpecker damage

1 Response

You should check to see whether the woodpecker is making progress on a hole. Two things (or both) could be going on in this situation. First, the bird could be attempting to initiate a cavity (make a hole for a nest, for example), in which case you probably need to patch over (with metal flashing) the hole to prevent enlargement of the hole and use of the wall cavity as a nest. Secondly, the bird could be just be using the wall for "drumming", which is a noise-making behavior by which birds advertise (to other woodpeckers) their ownership of the territory or availability to mate and settle down. You could first try to deter the bird by scaring it with loud noises - That assumes however, that you and your daughter can run out or open a window quickly to shoo off the bird. If the bird is persistent, especially if it is excavating holes, you probably need to block the bird's access to the wall itself. Often this is done with tightly-strung thin bird netting. See Figure 3 in this article http://icwdm.org/handbook/birds/bir_e139.pdf
I hope this information is helpful.
Dana