08 March 2009


A match of wits

Our problem woodpecker has returned, a month later, and seems undeterred by our protective chimney cages. We thought weather or the bird itself might have disturbed them, but no, they are still firmly in place. So the first move is to make the cages bigger—our Northern flicker may be large enough to get its beak right between the mesh to the metal.

Whenever I've heard the hammering (around 7 a.m., or 8 now that we're in Daylight Saving Time), I've made a quick leap into my bathrobe and slippers and tossed some pebbles from our yard onto the roof, which seems to scare it away each time. But, clever as this bird is, it doesn't seem to learn from the experience. As my dad said, "it's a match of wits." So far, the woodpecker is outwitting us.

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Have you thought of rigging up a nine volt battery to the metal? Just a thought, while the dry weather lasts.
Dry weather? What's that?
I'm currently being outwitted by a squirrel. It keeps eating seeds out of the bird feeder. Every time I hit it with a BB gun, it runs away, but it comes right back, and it eventually outlasts me.
i'm just a little worried about the wits of a woodpecker who finds it necessary to go after a metal pipe...

good luck!
I thought that at first too, but it's not searching for food, it's signaling territory by making as much noise as it can. In which case a metal pipe is pretty smart.
Have you considered either a rooftop scarecrow, or getting one of those fake owls that are cropping up on buildings around the city to cut down on pigeon poop on their property?

Ha ha ha HAAAA hah!

(okay, the Woody Woodpecker sound just came to me.. amazing things that stick in your head for 30-odd years.)
So if it is marking territory, what would happen if you recorded it and played its own hammering back to itself?

Maybe with added guitar?