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Birds Might Attack Your House

Northern Flicker (Photo courtesy cbtx/Flickr)

It’s that time of years…bees are buzzing, and birds are building nests. We’ve got a pair of crows nesting in the top of a pine tree in the backyard and robins in the apple tree. Several years ago we had a pair of flickers nesting in the area. The male staking out his territory had our dog terrified. This bird would perch on the aluminum roof vent of our gas furnace and peck away. The sound would resonate down into the house, the dog was sure it was thunder and he couldn’t get to the basement fast enough. As the season progressed the pecking slowed down and the dog could relax.

Whether seeking a mate, marking their territory or just communicating with others, woodpeckers will drum on a hard surface, making as loud a noise as possible. Sometimes that hard surface is on a house, like the metal flashing around a chimney. Because of the construction of the bird’s skull it doesn’t get a headache from the pounding.

Because flickers and woodpeckers are protected by law there are few options available to a homeowner: curse at them (doesn’t really work), fix the hole in the side of the house after the nesting season (leave a hole all summer? don’t think so), or build a house for them hoping to lure them away (interesting).

There is a good book on the subject, “Woodworking for Wildlife,” by Carroll Henderson, published by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. It’s on the Internet as are the dimensions to the flicker house.

Thanks to Bruce Auchly of Montana Fish,Wildlife and Parks for this information.

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