Friday, February 6, 2015

Another mystery solved

 Who's been chewing on my porch? I suspected it was a woodpecker ... or maybe a stucco-pecker,
since it was ignoring the wooden beam in favor of the wall.
I haven't been able to catch it in the act until this week.

 Me: Wait a minute...don't I know you?

 This guy showed up a few years back and you all identified him as a Flicker. The Audobon guide
states that the Flicker "...eats ants more frequently than any other North American bird."
Good bird to have around, I thought. I named him Woody.

 Maybe this one is Woody's girlfriend.
Maybe they have plans to raise a family in the empty swallows' nest.
Maybe I should chase her away while I can.

I told her she can eat all the ants she wants but the house is off limits.


  1. Hmmm, it might be a Male doing some real estate research for the upcoming season?

    In the Southeast they also work/remodel wood siding and gutters :)
    They usually make a lot of racket early in the morning.

    M in NC

  2. They always eat from my hummingbird feeders .I'm glad they don't peck at my house.

  3. Chasing away seems the proper choice. No destructive nest building allowed.

    We have a robin's nest on the brick window ledge in our bedroom. Whatever possessed them to build there last year, do not know. Was fun watching the eggs hatch and fledglings eventually leave. Three out of four thrived. Indoor cats watched for hours at a time. All the coming and going and later little heads sticking up. Cats couldn't see the nest itself.

  4. Northern flickers are a common sight here, and seem to function quite differently from most woodpeckers. You probably want to deter your homewrecker sooner rather than later. There's some good ideas in this article, including such simple ones as a hawk mobile or sillouette and a shaving or makeup mirror to make it seem bigger than it is!:

  5. I make suet for the birds because I love to watch them and it's hung right outside the window by my recliner. We have lots of birds who love it and they're fun to watch, including flickers. Maybe if you gave them something more appetizing than stucco they'd leave the house alone. You just have to figure out a way to place it so the 4 legged critters can't get to it. It has to be in a container large enough for these big birds to prop themselves with their tails. You can buy wire cages for suet blocks, but I'm not a fan of those so my husband used a hole saw to drill deep holes in a log about 4 inches across. He inserted a big screw eye so it can hang from a hook. I hope you find something that deters them; they can do a lot of damage and create holes for other animals to crawl into. At least there's a wire screen where the stucco was.

  6. We have a nesting pair of Flickers that torture us all summer. I say torture because they have a favorite area in the pecan tree in the back yard and tend to begin drumming practice early in the morning. They along with the Mountain Jays make it treacherous for the dogs too. Both like to buzz bomb and fuss up a storm. The dogs have become immune to their antics but that does deter the birds from diving practice. Hope you can dissuade them from customizing your house.

  7. Back when I was married living on a small farm, we had woodpeckers, the kind from California. (in swim suits) They destroyed a good portion of our deck. An entire family of them were making themselves at home under the eaves of our home! They can wreck some havoc!!! Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. A comical anecdote: We had one of these fellows at our old farm. He enjoyed drilling at the metal pole building very early in the morning to establish his territory via sound. And oh what a sound it was!


  9. Gee. You're like God banishing her from the Garden of Eden!

  10. birds and the big house don't mix. The barn swallows were taking over our patio and very messy so after 2 years of trying to let be my husband took the nests down. It was a battle of souls. Who was gonna win. After almost 3 weeks the birds gave up and stopped trying to rebuilt the nest the husband took down.