Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

image of a typewriter ribbon“Your woodpecker’s back!” My Darling B called to me as I was making coffee Saturday morning. Five seconds later, if you’d been my neighbor you would’ve been treated to the sight of me galloping across my back lawn in an undershirt and pajama pants, waving my arms in the air and cussing, “Get the hell away from my house, you goddamned motherless bastard!” because that’s the cool, calm way I react to wildlife in a suburban environment.

I like animals as much as the next guy. I get all gooey-eyed over soft fluffy things like cats and rabbits and hamsters. Birds aren’t cuddly but they sure are pretty, even the one that comes to visit Our Humble O’Bode in the fall. He’s white with black speckles and he has a spot of red feathers like a cap on his head. He’s no bigger than the fist that I wave at him when I hear him pecking holes in the wood siding. Big holes.

He did this last year, too. There are several small patches of wood putty in the siding on the south corner where he started to peck holes, and one big temporary patch made of three-quarter inch plywood over a hole that he must’ve finished by waiting until I was at work, or by investing in a stealth beak. No, it’s not that. He’s pretty noisy this year, so unless he lost it, or only rented it, it couldn’t have been that.

When I asked The Mighty Google to tell me how to keep woodpeckers from eating holes through the walls of our house, it only laughed. There is no way to stop them, is the conventional wisdom. Short of tearing all the aluminum siding off the house and replacing it with aluminum, or battleship armor, woodpeckers cannot be deterred. And they cannot be trapped, either. It’s illegal. I can have all the guns I want, but I can’t use them to shoot woodpeckers, unless they come in through the front door and menace me so as to make me fear for my life.

I can’t shoot them, but I can offer them an alternative. They’re supposed to be drilling holes in our house because they’re looking for a place to nest, so I put up a bird house that I just happened to have handily laying around in the garage. Maybe it’s even a woodpecker house, I don’t know. If the hole’s not big enough, I think he’ll be able to handle drilling it out a little. He seems to have a knack for it.

peckerhead | 6:13 am CDT
Category: daily drivel | Tags: , , ,
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