Let’s Ask Sandy: Episode 8 – What is that Noise? Woodpeckers!

What’s that noise? It’s the tap-tap-tap-tap-tap of woodpeckers on your stovepipe, siding, or nearest power pole. If it’s music to your ears, great! But if not, Birds & Beasleys owner, Sandy Shull, is here to give you strategies to cope with the sounds of spring.

Hi! I’m Sandy with Birds & Beasleys. Today, we are going to talk about flickers and woodpeckers and how you either love them or hate them. This time of year, a lot of people hate them.

Flickers can do a lot of damage to a house while they are trying to find nesting spaces, looking for food foraging, or looking for mates. So, first I need to tell you, nothing really is guaranteed. So, I’m going to give you a couple of ideas if you have a flicker or woodpecker issue on your home.

The first would be, what is the flicker doing? See the flicker up on your chimney, pounding on the silver cap, what he is doing, is he is drumming and trying to make his territory. What he is doing is okay, he is not causing any trouble, he is not hurting your chimney, what he is doing is trying to look for a mate. Yes, it is irritating but it will go away once the season of breeding is over. So, that is the easy one.

The second one is I have a flicker going up and down my house, drilling little holes, I would say, check to see if you have a bug issue, because they are probably looking for food. Now the one that causes you the most trouble is when you get a hole that is this big and the material called the dryvet or cedar homes. What the birds are learning to adapt to is that they can get through to the small surface, get into the insulation, way easier to make a nest in insulation than digging out a tree.

Flickers tend to be high, they always seem to pick the side of the wall that has the highest expanse, always higher than your ladder. So, you can try a couple of things. The first would be, how do you scare them away from the hole? So, you can get out there with your super soaker gun, a hose, or whatever, you could put up some things that we have that people have had luck with. ScareTape up around where the hole is. Guard’n Eyes is the big yellow balloon. Some people have had luck with an owl, this is not usually the best one. Probably the best thing to do, if you can, is to cover the hole. So either get up there, you can put netting from the eve down the side of the house, put some metal up there, that’s the most long-term, even though that’s expensive. Some people have luck with the flicker house, this is a wood duck house behind me, a little smaller version of the flicker house. You can put that over the top of the hole.

Again, nothing is really for sure. You can try lots of different things. Remember, they are protected, so you cannot hurt them, but just try to get them to move on. If you just a mating pair there, that will get rid of the rest of them. And if I knew how to do it, I would be rich! So, good luck with your woodpeckers, call if you have other questions.

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August 2022
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