Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tale of the Woodpecker

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We have a woodpecker problem-on our house. I heard the damn bird a few weeks ago, but only a few times-on the same side, but now the bastard has moved-to the front of the house, at Elena's and our bedroom windows. It's annoying enough to hear the rat-tat-tat throughout the house during the day, but at 6:42 AM, on a non-school morning, it's downright pissing me off.

I have mentioned before, we live in a very old house. The original part is 140 years old or so, with several additions to it. The inside is upgraded (with the exception of radiator heat-which I love), but the outside is wood and in desperate need for a paint job. Mike refuses any siding-would take away from the age of the house, etc. He's right. We discussed cedar shake shingles-it's a possibility, but again, wood.

What to do? What to do? I go online and read:

Hang Mylar strips from your house, all over, they hate shiny things. Yeah, that should thrill the neighbors, as well as label us the "kooks who have all that foil stuff hanging from their second floor". Not an option.

They are looking for food (pecking on the wood looking for carpenter bees who burrow holes in the wood and live there)-exterminate. We tried that two years ago, did nothing (the extermination of the bees).

Shoot the bird-don't use a regular BB gun, but an air rifle. Um, not really an option, besides shooting an eye out, I would shoot my windows out. Damn bird is fast too-I hear him, sneak out the side door to go out front and thing scrams faster then the speed of sound.

Trap the bird and set it free elsewhere-now where do you buy such a trap and how is this accomplished?

I call our State Dept. of Game and Wildlife and am told:

They are looking for food,hang suet cakes all around your property. Again, tried that a few years ago just for fun. Even bought wire, squirrel proof cages for the suet. Damn squirrels actually bent the wire cages and got the suet out in record time. Made our squirrel population go up by about 20. The birds never stood a chance.

What else can I do? Well, ya can't trap em cause they are a species indigenous to our area and ya can't kill em for the same reason-hmmmmm.......

What about the bird conservatory, can't they catch him and bring him elsewhere where he can live in peace (my peace anyway) and harmony with other birds? No, no deal.

They suggested I buy a decoy owl . I found others online, but this one represents more of what I think I need, although this one would be a hell of a lot more easy to set up, but the "fold down simplicity" kinda makes me wonder what the heck it's made out of and such. Now, I am supposed to put this on the front of the house-easy, I can climb out Elena's bedroom window and set it up on the porch roof-although the second owl option would be easier then trying to figure out how to stake it up. What, another glitch? It seems Mr. Woodpecker(head) is an intelligent bird and I would have to move the decoy every few days or else he'll realize-WTH is that? Where the heck am I gonna put it-I can't get to the other side of my house, to the top point of the roof to switch it up-hell, we've never even gone into out attic since we lived here cause 1) The previous owners didn't know it existed (yes, I swear). They didn't use the upstairs and didn't realize there was a trap door in the top of one of the bedroom closets. They said the house had no attic. However, we had a home inspector who said we had an attic and I see the trap door. 2) The windows in the attic are painted over the same color as the house, so it doesn't look as if there was an attic and I can't get to the windows because, well they're painted over and I know it's damn creepy up there. I would need a ladder in the closet, climb into a creepy-ass attic that no one has set foot in in who knows how long (technically, we had an attic fan installed, so someone went up there since we lived here. He didn't report any bodies or anything up there, so I guess it's okay, but no one living here now has ever set foot near it. It could be full of treasures, but who cares, I am not going up there period. 3) There's a mysterious light switch in my bedroom (kinda like that commercial for All-State where they keep flicking it and the neighbors garage door opens)-it works something somewhere in the room, but damn if I can figure it out and maybe it's something weird in the attic, but it isn't a light up there or any outlet in the room and it's next to the closet, not with the regular light switch-that I know.

So I guess I am stuck with Mr. Woodpecker(head) (yeah, I just named him) til I figure it all out.


naomi said...

Omg ! I almost peed myself ! I don't know if the owl think would really work either. My neighbor did that for their garden a couple of years ago and it didn't work at all. Maybe you could hire Elmer Fudd to get that "wask-ly pecker"(head)

KnitXcorE said...

haha! i always see those decoys and wonder why the hell someone would buy a plastic owl.... now, i know.

Kathy said...

I told mom about Mr Woodpecker-head, and she said to be glad he's pecking on wood, not a metal wastepipe like ours did years ago. And she said you have bright squirrels down in your end of Jersey, ours took a year to figure the feeder out.

Linda said...

My first thought when you mentioned the attic was the movie Grudge, so I'm very glad you decided not to go up there.

Deneen said...

I never heard of Grudge, but am now intrigued.

Kimberly said...

lol - I am laughing so hard right now! Good luck on getting rid of Mr Woodpecker(head)

I hear you about not goingup in the attic.....my dad stores christmas outdoor lights up there and its down right creepy and mouse filled ick! I shudder and cringe the whole time I'm up there.

Daisy said...

Squirrels are smart, and I think the squirrel-proof feeders just make them smarter. They broke our old feeder (plastic) by taking it off the hanger so they could eat more. We got a heavier, metal feeder, supposedely squirrel-proof (something to do with the squirrels being too heavy & the little hatches closing). It took them four days to learn that they could hang upside down by their toes and press on the perch to dispense food. If I let it get empty, they will knock it down--I'm sure that's to get my attention since the first time they did it, it made a huge ruckus and I went right out to see what happened and then fixed it.

I just live with them because I like feeding the birds and you can't *not* feed the squirrels at the same time *g* (Also the cardinals seem to be ground feeders, and the squirrels knock plenty of food on the ground for them to eat...)

Terri Lynn said...

People, People, you do not want to put any feed out, that will attract them not distract them! What a stupid suggestion by the game and fish department(or whoever you spoke with)! Remember the movie Steel Magnolias? Yes, get out those firecrackers(you may need a permit for good reason to use)! A beebee gun is also pretty handy and so is water! Squirt them away!

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