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The Woodpecker Problem
by Bob Powell, 3/30/04
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I read an article on what to do about woodpeckers. One solution to the woodpecker problem was omitted: It can be easier to accommodate than to fight. They were pecking holes below the eaves of my house above my deck. Being unsuccessful in chasing them away, I decided to build them a home based on plans I got from the Colorado Division of Wildlife. I modified the plans and stained the outside (not the inside) to blend with the house.

Woodpecker Home - View from left

However, there's a secret to getting them to use it. When first installed, they continued to peck on my house right next to their new home! Frustrated, I got the idea to cover the entrance with a relatively thin piece of wood with a small ragged hole in the center. They found it irresistible ... they wanted to do it themselves! They expanded the hole to their liking and lived there for the season.

They're beautiful birds and have been living here and raising a family every year ... the young ones really talk it up when they get hungry.

Every year I cover the hole with a thin piece of wood with a small hole and they enlarge it. Also every year the nest must be cleaned out and refilled with cedar shavings.

Woodpecker Home - View from right

And every 4 or 5 years they nearly peck through the 2" (actual 1 3/4") thick X 12" wide boards used to build it. They're pecking all the time in there ... working away at enlarging their nest ... "I'm a woodpecker and that's what I do." So the house must be rebuilt, replacing the boards, which I've just done in September 2006 when they again returned looking for a place to stay for the winter.

December 2007 They've moved in again. See the mess they make after widening the entry and throwing out the cedar shavings they don't want.

Deck - looking east

Deck - looking south




URL: http://www.exponentialimprovement.com/cms/woodpecker.shtml

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The Woodpecker Problem
Stained Glass Goddess