War of the the Woodpeckers.

Actually, here in Colorado we call them the Northern Flicker; and these lovely birds account for the most woodpecker damage to homes in the Denver Metro area.

Northern Flicker
{Source: WikiCommons}

For years we I have waged a war with these, although beautiful, annoying birds. And every year the bird has won.

Every spring the Flickers come to nest, find a mate, and make property damaging baby Flickers. Problem is, the Flickers choose to nest in our nest.

These Flickers work diligently knocking/peeking away at the North side of our house. They are consistent too. Consistently they start their knocking at 6:00 am sharp!

Once there is a hole in the wood siding big enough for them to fit, they make their nest between the siding and the wall of my daughter’s bedroom wall.

This year when the familiar knocking/peeking started our black Lab, Thor, barked in harmony with the birds…at 6:00 am sharp!

Knock, knock, knock! Bark, bark, bark! Thor, Thor, Thor! And repeat.

Since I am an animal lover (even the annoying, home damaging kind) I don’t have the heart or stomach to shoot the Flickers. And beside that, “Woodpeckers are classified as migratory non-game birds and are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. A federal permit is required before any lethal control methods are employed. Penalties and fines are assessed to violators.” so says the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. And I am not messing with them.

After years of intense and scientific research (Google counts as scientific, right?) I have tried just about every suggestion.

  • One online site suggested a fake plastic owl. I would never spend $35 on a dummy plastic owl. Yes, I did. And, I move it around periodically to “fake” it being real. Who’s the dummy, me or the owl?
  • Then there was the fill the hole with mothballs suggestion. My research suggested the Flickers won’t like the smell of the mothballs, they would then vacate the nest. The only thing that vacated the nest was the mothballs when the Flickers deposited them onto my lawn.
  • A wild animal relocation specialist suckered talked me into hanging from the roof a silly looking paper owl head with streamers windsock like thing. The theory is that the motion of the windsock/streamers will scare the Flickers away from the nest. The neighbors pointed and laughed…out loud.
  • Let them be. I have given up the last two years and just let them nest in the walls. Then we wait. We waited until we heard the chirp-chirp-chirp of baby Flickers through the walls, then we waited some more. When we didn’t hear the chirping for a least a week we knew the birds had left the nest; it was then safe to seal up the holes.
  • Install a nesting box from Wild Birds Unlimited. The saleswoman proclaimed, “You need this!” Again, the theory is the birds will choose a nesting box all ready to go rather than make their own.
nesting box
Brand New Flicker Nesting Box

Saturday we hung the nesting box…cost of $70 (oh, yes I did).

Sunday morning at 6:00 am sharp the Flicker was back knocking on the house RIGHT NEXT TO THE NESTING BOX. And Thor was barking right along with the knocking.


I stomped out to the backyard and threw gently lobbed a tennis ball at the bird. I missed the bird. I may or may not have thrown a rock at it’s head. I missed again. He flew away.

Later that day my hubby begrudgingly covered up the new holes with aluminum edging. I hope this bird catches a clue because I really don’t want to be in my pjs, marching around the yard at 6 am, banging pots and pans to scare the Flickers off…


And one time…A Flicker broke into my house.

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