The Cool House: Knock, knock

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Knock, knock

We started Saturday with a long list of things to do in the yard, things we'd been putting off until the weather got warmer and with temperatures in the mid-seventies we had no excuse not to get on with them.

First chore was for The Guy to jump on the roof and clean out the gutters while I stood below ready to call 911 if he fell off. Division of labour, if you will. I follow him around at ground level, taking the opportunity to check out the siding for any signs of carpenter bee activity and anything else on the exterior of the house that requires attention.

Often there's the start of a wasps' nest, or some other minor problem to take care of but this year had everything beat. Three huge holes an inch or so in diameter with the wood splintered around the side. This was no attack of the insects, this was woodpecker damage. Not only had he or she been drilling for carpenter bee lavae but it had been excavating roosting holes into the bargain.
We have a few woodpeckers in the trees and at this time of year there's usually one trying to bore holes in the siding. I shout at it, it flies off, comes back starts drumming, I run out, shout at it and we play this game ad nauseam. This one had managed to find itself a secluded spot on the corner of the garage and had obviously been at it for a while. I managed to restrain myself from screaming while The Guy was up on the roof and I tried to prepare him for the amount of damage but for someone who rarely curses he really let himself go when he saw those holes. Luckily we had a jumbo sized tube of wood filler handy (for the holes that is, not to shut The Guy up).

Even better we have the perfect solution for keeping the woodpecker away from that corner in the future. One of the Xmas presents we received was a spiral wind chime. I think the twirling shiny copper sphere should do the trick.

Unless it thinks I provided it a perch. During the entire time we were The Guy was repairing the holes and I was taking photos, the woodpecker was sitting in the oak tree chuntering at us. I know it was a just warning: we may have won this battle but the war will continue.


Jennifer said...

We had a pair of Northern Flickers make a home in our dying crabapple last spring... luckily they kept themselves to the bugs infesting the poor tree instead of our house!

I remember waking up one morning in a college house to an enormous racket... turns out a woodpecker was pecking on the vent tubes on the roof!

modernemama said...

I know it's more eco-friendly to let the woodpeckers eat the bees, but between the two species it's a constant battle to stop my siding looking like swiss cheese. (Is there a poem here somewhere or have I been driven completely mad...)

Anonymous said...

I'm mean...I'd have thrown a rock at the bird...