Tuesday, June 7, 2011

If you can't beat the woodpeckers, build them a house.

The woodpeckers here drive me insane in the spring time. They've drilled hole after hole into our already poorly insulated house, leaving it incredibly drafty...not to mention the incessant bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang...

I've tried everything "they" say to try from putting an AM radio in my window (in theory, they think it's a real person and stay away...except, in reality, they get hip to that after a few days) to nailing pie tins over the holes, to putting streamers up to scare them away. None of these things have actually work. I've checked bird sites and the Colorado State University extension office. I've checked out bird books and talked to the locals and, short of hiring a professional to come and relocate the birds, I've tried just about everything else.






Exhibit A:
Last year's solution - Cover holes with wood.
See also: Side of house.
See also: Front of house.

Exhibit B:
This year's solution - Put something reflective over the holes.
See also: CD recycling

Exhibit C:
Woody's latest and greatest hole. Measured roughly 4 inches high and 3 inches wide.
See also: Side of house. Eves of house. Front of house.

Last week the kids and I headed to the library to do some research and solve this problem once and for all.



We learned that our woodpecker - the Northern Flicker, actually - is extremely difficult to displace once he makes his home. Check. So we put our heads together and decided that if we can't beat him, we'd build him his own house.

All About Birds is a wealth of information, complete with diagrams for making houses and roosting boxes. With Super Uncle and several power tools, we ended up with three lovely boxes made from reclaimed wood.



And knowing how Super Uncle builds things, they're probably better insulated than our house is.

Up, up and away they go...



They also re-covered the newer holes in the side of the house. So far, so good.

Stay tuned for a new post on the nesting material bags that we're making today!

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