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Fri Mar 29, 2013, 11:05 AM

I was awakened by a terrific banging...

It's that time of year again here in the Pacific Northwest. That time of year when simple, honest homeowners such as yours truly are terrorised from slumber by Irony Metalpecker and his headbanging pals. How can such a small bird, the flicker, produce so much noise? I'm not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that it quite literally sounds like somebody is trying to break into the house through the roof with a jackhammer. If they were just woodpeckers, I think I could live with it, but what's attracting them to the noisy, metal parts of the roof?

Why don't they have headaches all the time?

16 replies, 1436 views

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply I was awakened by a terrific banging... (Original post)
Ron Obvious Mar 2013 OP
In_The_Wind Mar 2013 #1
The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2013 #2
Ron Obvious Mar 2013 #4
hunter Mar 2013 #3
ohiosmith Mar 2013 #6
Honeycombe8 Mar 2013 #5
Sekhmets Daughter Mar 2013 #7
Ron Obvious Mar 2013 #8
Sekhmets Daughter Mar 2013 #12
csziggy Mar 2013 #15
Sekhmets Daughter Mar 2013 #16
LWolf Mar 2013 #9
OmahaBlueDog Mar 2013 #10
Ron Obvious Mar 2013 #11
OrwellwasRight Mar 2013 #13
Ron Obvious Mar 2013 #14

Response to Ron Obvious (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 11:16 AM

1. Amazing animal!

Rids us of bugs plus being an alarm clock.

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Response to Ron Obvious (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 12:02 PM

2. They are declaring their territory by banging on something noisy.

That's why they do that especially in the spring.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 03:10 PM

4. That makes sense.

I hadn't thought of that. I knew it couldn't possibly be trying to make a nest there.

You can really hear it in the bathrooms as it's hammering on the fan exhaust pipes on the roof.

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Response to Ron Obvious (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 12:44 PM

3. He's showing off his pecker.


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Response to hunter (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 07:59 PM

6. Got wood!

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Response to Ron Obvious (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 07:53 PM

5. Mating call by the males? Like singing...or playing guitars! It attracts the babes! nt

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Response to Ron Obvious (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 08:51 PM

7. Had a woodpecker

decide to see whether he could bore through the metal lining of the fireplace chimney...the chimney was not an external one, but rather ran 24 ft. from floor to ceiling in a great room...in house that had mostly tile and wood flooring....The noise bounced around ferociously, making our ears bleed, until we finally just lit a fire....

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 09:26 PM

8. It might come to that yet...

If he ratches hostilities up a further notch...

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 09:35 PM

12. By the time he attacked the chimney,

he had already been at the frame of the pool enclosure and had severely damaged a $700. Screw Pine we had just planted the year before. I was ready to fry his butt if need be! They can be very destructive...don't let him stay up there too long.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 30, 2013, 12:22 AM

15. The pine probably was infested with beetles

Woodpeckers don't tear up trees just for fun. They are going after the insects living in the bark or wood.

Their territorial pecking is done on whatever is most resonant and resounding. The more tentative tapping is them going after the bugs.

Today the pileated woodpeckers that live here were declaring their territory. One claimed one of the light fixtures on the arena - it hollow aluminum shell makes a lovely tone that carries a long way. The one closer to the house on the other hand found a more traditional sounding board - a partly hollow branch on a lightning killed loblolly pine tree. His pecking made a solid "THONK" that was similar to a bat hitting a baseball. They carried on for an hour or so until a female happened by. Watching three of those huge birds chasing each other around a stand of tree is impressive as all get out!

This shot I took through the window of the front door (that's why it a little blurry) a few months back is probably one of those guys:

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Response to csziggy (Reply #15)

Sat Mar 30, 2013, 12:41 AM

16. Oh I know they're looking for food ...

it was just that he was determined to simply demolish the highest branch of the Screw Pine by boring a huge hole in the trunk beneath where that branch met the trunk. Screw Pines can be really interesting looking trees...but after that branch had to be removed it was never as appealing. Of course the smoke drove him out of the chimney... and I was happy when he finally decided to leave for parts unknown.

They are beautiful birds which is why I wouldn't let the 'ex' shoot him but our property line ended at a protected 'wetlands/bird sanctuary' with thousands of trees and I wish he had stayed there!

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Response to Ron Obvious (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 09:27 PM

9. I've been hearing them.

And wondering the same thing: Why do they go for the roof on the pole barn, or the metal stock tank? Why not the trees?

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Response to Ron Obvious (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 09:30 PM

10. Wow. I read your subject line and took the meaning entirely differently.

I thought you meant you woke up...oh never mind.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 09:34 PM

11. That was not entirely unintentional...

Yeah, that was not entirely uninentional

I stole that line from Woody (ha!) Allen.

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Response to Ron Obvious (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 09:35 PM

13. I've only ever seen/heard a woodpecker pecking once in my life.

I thought he was awesome. I took photos. Wish I'd had a video camera. Wish I could see one again. Maybe it's cuz I'm a city slicker that I don't run into them more often.

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Response to OrwellwasRight (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 11:31 PM

14. You'd love Seattle then

We see them all the time here. Hell, I saw a bald eagle up close on my bike ride today! Those birds have made a huge comeback in the last ten years. I remember seeing one involved in an aerial dogfight with two seagulls a few years ago.

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