This occurs most frequently in the spring, usually because the bird is establishing its territory and announcing its search for a mate. If this behaviour occurs later in the year, it may be that the wood of your house is infested with insects.
If a woodpecker drums on your house in the spring, start prevention efforts as soon as possible. Woodpeckers are not easily driven away from their established territories.
To prevent damage, consider doing the following:
- Restrict: Cover the area being pecked with a plastic tarp, aluminum sheeting, or cardboard.
- Discourage: Hang bright strips of cloth, plastic, or foil to flutter in the wind.
- Assess: Check the wood, and treat any insect infestations right away.
If a bird continues to peck or drum, the behavior should end within 6-8 weeks, lasting only during the early nesting period.
If a woodpecker pecks at a tree, likely the tree offers a good food source (insects). This is a warning that your tree is damaged. You can either do nothing or seek expert advice on the problem with the tree.
Young woodpeckers are very aggressive towards each other in the nest and may push smaller birds out of the nest hole. If you see a young woodpecker out of its nest cavity, do not put it back. The baby will likely be pushed out again. Do not approach or remove the bird. Simply observe it from a distance. If after 1 hour the bird is not reunited with its parents please call Le Nichoir at 450 458-2809, ext. 1.
DO NOT remove an old tree during the spring or early summer unless doing so is unavoidable, as birds may be nesting in it. If a tree with a woodpecker nest is felled, cut the nest hole portion out of the tree and re-hang it close to the old site. Watch from a safe distance for a few hours – if the parents DO NOT return to care for the babies, please call Le Nichoir at 450-458-2809, ext. 1 as soon as possible.