You must realize that woodpeckers are not damaging your house or interrupting your sleep since they have a personal vendetta against you. There’s a cause for this assault on your senses, particularly early in the morning. In fact, there might be several factors. Once you understand them, you will be more able to employ the proper solution.
Why Are Woodpeckers Seeking to Destroy My Home and/or My Sanity?
1. To Bring a Mate
2. To Set a Territory
3. To Make a Cavity for a Nest
4. To Find Food
Since woodpeckers don’t have a song to sing that will capture the heart of a prospective partner, they do everything comes naturally-they become hammerheads! Pecking away at 20 times a second you can easily see how they could give themselves a major migraine, or even a concussion, without such all-natural protection.
Their natural goals are trees, naturally, but any tall object will do. It does not even have to be wood, as my metal chimney pipe may attest. Utility poles are just another good drumming surface. This banging noise will populate and be heard for long distances. If there are potential mates around, this form of communication isn’t any fail.
Woodpeckers do have forecasts that they use along with the drumming on surfaces. Those calls consist of, among others, ‘ ‘pit-pit’ or ‘chick-chick’, sometimes high- pitched, depending upon the circumstances. It’s like he is saying “gang way, here I come”! This strategy is very effective as all the other birds scatter ahead of it.
Another very important reason for woodpeckers to bang on surfaces would be to establish their land.
They fly from tree to tree; beating on every one to make sure any would be interlopers know they are not to cross certain lines. Each tree produces a different sound which will create a type of musical graph. Woodpeckers revisit this graph every day, often many times a day especially in the spring when territories and mates are most important.
Woodpeckers are natural cavity nesters. The wood on your residence is no different for this bird than a tree would be, so it’s a possible nesting spot. With all the urban growth and loss of natural habitat, woodpeckers choose what they can get so as to survive. Normally a tree that is dead ‘snag’ would serve this bird’s purpose very nicely. But most individuals don’t like to have unsightly, and possibly dangerous, dead trees throughout their own property. Well you can see the problems arise, as always, when humans and animals are forced into the exact same habitat.
Food sources such as bugs and their larvae reside in wood, even occasionally in your wood siding. If a woodpecker continues to peck at the exact same spot, especially when it is not springtime, then you may get an infestation. These birds can sense the vibrations bugs and their infants set up in the wood. Equipped with barbed tongues up to 4″ long, woodpeckers are able to reach into holes under bark and easily latch onto their meals. Continual banging in precisely the same spot should possess you consulting the yellow pages to get a professional exterminator. At the very least the exterminator can ascertain if carpenter bees or even several other insects are indeed present in your wood.
Okay, so now we know why those drummers do what they do, what can we do to prevent them?
These are my recommendations for organic and non-toxic remedies to your woodpecker problem:
1. Depending upon where on your home the harm is occurring, attempt a natural non-toxic spray repellent. These repellents flavor and smell bad to a woodpecker.
2. Again depending on the job of the damage and also how easily accessible it’s for you, there are netting products that can be draped across the area in question.
3. Consider installing a woodpecker nesting box to provide a pit in which they can nest. Consult with a bird identification manual to determine what size nesting box would be suitable. Where I live, you will find 3 different woodpeckers that come to my bird feeders year round: hairy, downy and red-bellied. I utilize a particular pneumonic to help me recall which is that, both the hairy and downy females possess the identical white and black markings; the male downy woodpecker has a red patch on its head, while the male hairy woodpecker has one on the back of its head; but are different dimensions. This is: hairyhuge compared to downy, which is yummy. The red-bellied woodpecker has black and white on its wings, and a red head and neck, with a hint of red on its belly, and it’s large. Each has different nest box requirements.
4. This fails for me personally. Add a suet feeder and keep it filled year round. They now have no-melt suet, which is safe for use in warmer weather. Magically my own woodpecker woes vanish when I supply them with suet. A jelly feeder or mealworm feeder never hurts. Woodpeckers really do have a sweet tooth and may taste sweetness. They frequently see my oriole nectar feeder and the hummer feeder that has a larger perching area.
5. As a last resort you can hang shiny mylar strips close to the region where woodpeckers are pecking. Shiny objects that move with the wind unpredictably can help dissuade their efforts and encourage them to move on. Start looking for them online or at your regional hardware store.
Insecticide use is one of the largest threats to our woodpecker populations because they remove their natural food sources. The other problem is reduction of trees to nest and forage for food. In my woods I’ve many poplar trees. These are beloved from the largest woodpecker in North America-the Pileated Woodpecker. The males arrive early in the spring and begin ‘calling’ to get a mate. It’s stated that Woody Woodpecker of animation fame was modeled after a pileated woodpecker. I simply believe they are a very cool looking bird!