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Woodpecker destroying barn

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  • Woodpecker destroying barn

    I'm posting this for my friend, who lives in CO. She has a woodpecker that is destroying her barn. It has already pecked multiple fist-sized holes in the siding. She's tried hanging reflective ribbon around the sides (the suggested humane option?) but the little punk has just flipped her off and continued on his merry mission of pecking.
    Other than a "butterfly net and a bat, or a pellet gun" (her choice of words), is there another way to stop him?

    I'm interested to hear answers, as I have seen woodpeckers all over my property and never imagined they'd go after the barn (so far they seem focused on trees). So I imagine I'm going to have the same problem someday.

  • #2
    Unfortunately woodpeckers are protected species, and therefore interfering with or harming them is a federal crime. When I lived in Colorado one went after my house, and caused a little damage, but I've seen other houses where the woodpeckers made a huge hole in the wall, and built a nest. The homeowners had to wait until the little ones hatched and left, to clean out the abandoned nest, and fix the damage.

    A funny story-there was a woodpecker (I'm hoping only one) that would attack the metal street light pole in the parking lot, and it kept doing this for at least a week. Some woodpeckers apparently aren't too smart.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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    • #3
      replace the siding with something non wood.

      Comment


      • #4
        Flicker? .410 or 12 ga. They're quick, so you have to get off a quick shot. Here I use White Oak for siding, and they can't do anything with that.
        www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

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        • #5
          It's illegal to shoot them. Cornell has some good advice.

          http://www.birds.cornell.edu/wp_about/damage.html

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          • #6
            Quote from Tickle: "Ain't nuthin illegal 'til you get caught."

            Flickers that develop a taste for siding don't stop coming back. I finally shot one that wouldn't stop no matter what, and I still see multiple ones around the same field most days that never tested the siding on an old house I'm working on.

            It liked the top siding board 26 feet off the ground. I asked a local Wildlife officer if I needed to jump through hoops trying to get rid of it ( I already had). He said he probably couldn't hear the shot from where he was anyway.
            www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
              replace the siding with something non wood.
              What difference does "non wood" make?

              I have one just mesmerized with my aluminum gutter drain pipe this week.
              But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CVPeg View Post
                What difference does "non wood" make?

                I have one just mesmerized with my aluminum gutter drain pipe this week.
                LOL....you can't fix stupid...

                But, I was thinking along the lines that non-wood would be - to the general pecker - less attractive to peck on.

                and if not, it takes less damage (and is probably cheaper than white oak) and is generally more maintenance friendly...)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tom King View Post
                  Quote from Tickle: "Ain't nuthin illegal 'til you get caught."

                  Flickers that develop a taste for siding don't stop coming back. I finally shot one that wouldn't stop no matter what, and I still see multiple ones around the same field most days that never tested the siding on an old house I'm working on.

                  It liked the top siding board 26 feet off the ground. I asked a local Wildlife officer if I needed to jump through hoops trying to get rid of it ( I already had). He said he probably couldn't hear the shot from where he was anyway.
                  SSS?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JanM View Post
                    A funny story-there was a woodpecker (I'm hoping only one) that would attack the metal street light pole in the parking lot, and it kept doing this for at least a week. Some woodpeckers apparently aren't too smart.
                    The woodpecker wasn't attacking the street light, he was drumming on it to stake out his territory and attract a mate, if he didn't already have one. Drumming in woodpeckers plays a similar role to singing in other bird species. So he probably liked the sound the metal made--it reverberated and was louder and made him seem like more of a hunk. So he wasn't being stupid, he was just being a musician.

                    Flickers seem to particularly like drumming on metal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CVPeg View Post
                      What difference does "non wood" make?

                      I have one just mesmerized with my aluminum gutter drain pipe this week.
                      That's breeding behavior. The louder the sound, the more females can hear it. That's why they pound on metal in the spring.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks all for the replies! I will pass them along. And good to know they're a protected species; I did not know that. Is that a state-by-state thing, given the number of species, or a US thing? Because I have seen several red-headed woodpeckers around my property, and we're also supposed to have pileated and red-bellied ones around here too (though I have yet to see either of those). I suppose it's only a matter of time before they go after my entirely wood barn.

                        When I lived in CO, I had one that lived outside my house and routinely drummed on the metal "mushroom" top of the street lamp. I wanted to kill him on a daily basis. I didn't know it was a mating behavior. If he was going for sound, boy, did he succeed!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (which would protect woodpeckers in general) is federal.

                          I don't know about your state but here in Canada the red-headed woodpecker is listed as a threatened species under the Species at Risk Act.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Vesper Sparrow View Post
                            I don't know about your state but here in Canada the red-headed woodpecker is listed as a threatened species under the Species at Risk Act.
                            Good to know. It appears after a quick Google search that threatened/endangered status only applies to northern states, not down here on the Gulf. They really are super pretty birds.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Vesper Sparrow View Post
                              The the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (which would protect woodpeckers in general) is federal.

                              I don't know about your state but here in Canada the red-headed woodpecker is listed as a threatened species under the Species at Risk Act.
                              You can see why they are threatened... I have one attempting to set up home in my log house wall at the moment. Suddenly noticed that a patch of chinking in the guest room is transparent. And yes, about 20ft up. I,ve just set a radio right up against the wall there in an attempt to discourage further nesting activity...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Vesper-that's funny. We always figured it had something to do with attracting a mate, but it certainly was a noisy and determined little bird.

                                I've heard that the woodpeckers often go after diseased wood, but I don't know if that's true.
                                You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by JanM View Post
                                  I've heard that the woodpeckers often go after diseased wood, but I don't know if that's true.
                                  For eating, they certainly would go after diseased wood. particularly if it was infested with insects, which is what they're looking for. In the boreal forest, Black-backed and Three-toed Woodpeckers will swarm to the site of a forest fire after the fire to feed on the bark beetles. Some crazy number of these woodpeckers--it might have been 5,000 or 10,000, can't remember exactly and can't find the original reference--were said to be foraging at the site of a huge fire site in the 1990s in northwestern Ontario. These birds are very cool because their backs are black and shiny, providing camouflage against the charred bark of the trees they feed in.

                                  http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/B...er/lifehistory

                                  Probably would apply to nest building in particular--they usually excavate their own nest cavities so probably wood that is softer would be preferred. They often chose dead standing trees--snags--for their nest holes.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Our property is wooded in places, and much of our neighboring properties are also wooded. We have lots of different woodpeckers, but none have damaged our house...yet. We have left several dead snags up around the place to provide nesting areas and provide suet feeders for those that use them (flicker, downy and hairy woodpeckers) so perhaps that has kept them away from the house. The flickers will occasionally drum on parts of the house, but just to make noise, and they do really like the metal for that.

                                    I don't know if you could figure out a way to make it work in this situation, but we used to have a scarecrow (motion activated sprinkler) on our garden before we fenced to keep the deer away. If you could put something like that on a post or such to keep the bird away from the house, that might be a non lethal idea?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      A few years ago, my MIL asked me to order these: http://www.amazon.com/Birds-away-Bir.../dp/B000J535QC for her as woodpeckers were attacking her house. I watched the video and laughed so hard, I had to wipe tears!

                                      I really don't know if they worked or if it was my husband blocking them, but the peckers did leave her house alone.

                                      But it was great fun everytime we visited to knock on the house and have those "spiders" come chattering down!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Ours hammers on the tin pipe from our furnace. I think he is funny, husband thinks he is stupid. But he's no problem and very pretty...but loud.
                                        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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