It’s A Woodpecker Kind Of Spring!

The woodpeckers are everywhere this year it seems!

I see the Flickers – and we have at least two varieties of these; the Yellow and Red Shafted – all the time….

…and I’ve heard them tapping out their Morse Code D’ Amore’ on the rain gutters, metal flashing and vents in hopes of attracting a mate.

I’ve seen Downy and Hairy woodpeckers at my suet block….

Just a few weeks ago, I spotted my first Pileated Woodpecker feeding on ants at the old wood stump in my Reflection Garden…

However, that woodpecker seemed to have taken a liking to me and my house! I was surprised to find him perched on the north railing of my house and even more amazed at how close I could get to him! I thought it was kind of special because they seemed to be quite skittish and hard to see, but this one spoke, danced, cocked his head and preened right there on the railing.

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The Pileated Woodpecker is the species of woodpecker that Woody Woodpecker was created from. Clearly, they are very intelligent birds. This bird’s behavior certainly lent credence to their intelligence

Then, he returned to the railing the next day! This time, he began inflicting damage to my railing, pecking big chunks out of it. We had to shoo him away but he kept coming back and pecking more chunks out of my railing while he admired himself in the window glass.

Originally, I thought about calling him “Woody” after the cartoon bird but when he started doing damage to my home, to my neighbor’s suggestion, I started calling him “Chainsaw.” After all, he can make quick work, carving chunks of wood off a railing!

I had to cover the railing with aluminum foil to discourage him.

We put it on so it would flap in the breeze. They don’t like shiny movement.

That foil will remain for a week or so more to ensure he does not return.

It turns out that they are very territorial and this is their way of attracting a mate, by ‘drumming and drilling.’ They can come back and inflict damage to homes year after year. Even though I find the Pileated Woodpecker to be a stunningly handsome bird, I was disappointed that they could be so damaging to homes.

A few days after we put the aluminum foil covering on the railing, we saw him at our back sliding glass door as if begging to be let in. Or, was he just admiring himself in the glass again. My husband shooed him off and we haven’t seen him.

So, we’ll never really know….

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