Peckers Can’t Be Choosers

By golly, some of my clients are reporting woodpeckers knock-knock-knocking on their wood siding again. They beat up on your trim and may even, at times, create a hole for other birds to nest in.

Don’t be too hard on this little guy. He is likely a ‘Northern Flicker’ looking for food.

Are there ways to protect yourself from a bird attack like this? Yes, there are remedies to deter woodpeckers. Various products are on the market, including everything from miniature cannons that fire off a sonic bang every few minutes to visual deterrents such as fake owls or other predatory birds, even coatings to paint up your trim as a repellent.

I found a helpful website of products at www.birdbgone.com, or you can find professional trappers and technicians in Alaska on Google. Apart from the physical damage to wood on your home, the woodpeckers sometimes gain access to the attic and this can cause real problems with waste and urine.

To be fair to ‘Northern Flicker’, or one of the other six Alaskan species of woodpeckers, it should be noted that they are seeking to remove wood-boring insects from your home and not even sending an invoice! A single woodpecker consumes up to 15,000 of such larvae and insects per annum, though usually from attacking tree trunks for which they have both chisel-like bills and specially designed toes to work on vertical structures.

My experience is that woodpeckers do not usually stay long on one particular site, so you may well find wood chips on the ground for a few days but then ‘Northern Flicker’ moves on to a new hunting ground. Please keep in mind that the woodpecker is hungry, just working his way across the landscape, and is likely the inspiration for the proverb “Peckers can’t be Choosers”.

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