Woodpecker moved in without my say.

by Anna Welby
(Colorado Springs)

A Northern Flicker (or a pair of them?) has moved into my house. He or she had pecked away at my siding to make a hole in it and has removed the insulation to make a home. The one I see that pokes it's head out of the hole seems to be male, by the description of the sexes, but I am not certain. S/He had woken me up at about 7 am on the weekends and then I noticed him/her again at either 5-6:30pm pecking at my siding. I did not know that any real "digging" was happening until I saw the hole with a rosy cheeked bird poking it's head out, watching me. My bedroom window walks out to the level where the hole is, but I am too short to see if there were eggs in a nest(and I sure did try, to the chagrin of the bird).

Before there was a nest/bird home, I used to wake up early, at 6ish to the sound of unknown hammering on the weekends (possibly occurring on the weekdays too, but I'd never hear it!). I resented this because I have to wake up at 4:30am on the weekdays and I love to be able to wake up later on the weekends. I thought it was my overzealous neighbor getting an early start on home improvements. I even saw him (my neighbor) who waved at me, while I was at the window, angrily trying to find out who or what had awaken me with hammering... and I waved back, grumbling in my nightie.

So now, when s/he picks and pecks, I hear him/her very well, as they are all in between the master bedroom bathroom wall and the outside siding. Since I don't know if they have eggs or not, I do not have the choice to get rid of them... I am not tall enough to look into the nesting hole. I don't think I would get rid of them, either - although s/he has been destructive, tearing insulation from the wall out, all over the area (my front porch). I know that they (woodpeckers) are all protected in the state of Colorado, but I never expected one to move in. I don't like her there, but I find myself wanting to leave out seeds and dried fruit, although I have read that they like bugs and ants. I suppose I can board up the hole when the cheeping begins and then moves out. Anyone who wants a picture, you will surely see her, poking her head out (or his) watching the front of the house, by the bedroom window.


Woodpeckers are beautiful birds - but yes they do cause problems when they are looking for food in your siding. They are however one of the best insect eaters when it comes to birds. The reason they are attacking your siding likely may be that you have another pest residing in your siding, like carpenter bees, termites, carpenter ants, or wood-boring beetles. So now you may have a bigger problem!

To stop the flicker from attacking your siding, you should cover up the hole as soon as it makes one. Putting a bird house designed for woodpeckers over the holes will help.

Here is the recommended type of Birdhouse for Flickers. It is recommended to put this over the existing hole.

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