Another dose of wildlife updates.  I added a Woodpecker House to my backyard this year and I’m really hoping someone will use it to lay their eggs this year.  I was very excited to see a Red-Headed Woodpecker looking in the house several times the last few days.  He (or she they look alike) has been around the yard a lot – or maybe it is two different ones.  I have only seen one at a time so I’m not sure.  Here are some pictures –

In this first one he is checking out the house.  It is mounted on the top of our play set.  Since the boys are older they don’t use it anymore and I thought it would be good because it is high up and amongst the trees but if I climb the ladder to get to the top of the play set I check inside the box.  We’ll see if it works.

He spent a long time on this tree, sitting on the branch, then climbing on the truck.

Here he is flying from one feeder over to the other.  I think the Red-Headed Woodpecker is just so pretty.  The distinct lines between his red head, black shoulders and wing tops, and then the white, ending with a black tail and a tip of white.

Red Headed Woodpecker

Enjoying the suet feeder.  I think this one is the Peanut Butter and Jelly Suet.


And then I have a picture of the Red-Bellied Woodpecker (different from the Red-Headed Woodpecker) enjoying the suet feeder.  He has also taken a peek or two inside the house.

femail red-bellied woodpecker

Actually I think this is a female because she has the gray crown.  That is supposed to be the only difference between the male and female Red-Bellied Woodpecker. I’ll have to keep my eye out now that I know how to tell them apart.

Someone asked me about woodpeckers pecking on their house so I did a bit of reading about that – I know I hear them sometimes and today the Red Headed Woodpecker was on my chimney cap – rat-a-tat-tat-ing away until I came outside to look at who it was.   This is from the Alabama Wildlife Conservation Association website (Alabama’s state bird is a type of woodpecker).

So why do they do it – first they are trying to establish territories and find a mate – this is usually in the spring and is a drumming sound; second they are looking for food – usually a few pecks, check your house for termites; third they are excavating a nesting cavity – this is not usually done on a house.

How can I get them to stop?  1.  Give them a good scare – make noise, hang foil from the eaves.  2. Create a barrier between them and the house – hang mesh over the site.  3. Give them something else to peck on – leave the dead trees in your yard.  4. Remove the woodpecker – call a professional – woodpeckers are protected by law so you can’t harm or trap them.  None of these are guaranteed to work.

Have a great day and keep your eye out for the woodpeckers in your yard!