Ratta-tat-tat-tat, what’s that?

This adorable little bird with the animal print feathers is a bit of a menace. First of all, he is much bigger than he looks, those are large leaves on the grass nearby. He is about half the size of a crow. He is (could be “she is”, not sure actually) one of six varieties of woodpeckers in the greater Portland -Vancouver metro area.

This guy, or gal, is hammering away at the side of my house. He is smart enough not to try the Hardi-board siding, or he tried it once and never again 😉 But it is pounding on the wood fascia underneath the upper level eaves. It is rather loud, enough in fact to scare my Labrador Retriever, who likes to hide from the big scary woodpeckers under my desk.

I looked this critter up and it is indeed a common bird here in America’s Vancouver. According to both the Audubon Society and the State of Washington, it is a Northern Flicker one of the aforementioned six varieties of woodpecker found in our region. I have an old hazel nut tree in the back that he could easily hammer on yet he is after my house. I checked around in the attic near where he was pounding hoping not to find insect signs. Whew! it’s nice and dry, with firm wood. No signs of wood pests. I think he wants a penthouse nest in my attic. NO! Fortunately he has not been at it long enough to cause any real damage.

So the trick according to the wildlife advice at the State of Washington is to hang a scare-crow… er, uh, I mean scare-woodpecker. Apparently shiny tin or aluminum pie pans dangling nearby will likely shoo them off. I say “them” because I spied a pair of these little rascals on my back lawn yesterday.

Left to their own devices these seemingly harmless and cute feathered beasts can peck a hole the size of an old school silver dollar in the side of your house.

So if you hear a hammering woodpecker sound in or around your house, be sure to politely scare the birds off or you may have a large hole and woodpecker nest inside your house somewhere. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has information here.

Ah the ‘Couv’ life; it is good even for a woodpecker.


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