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  • Ontario Educational Article of the Month - Why do Ontario woodpeckers peck on houses?

Why do Ontario woodpeckers peck on houses?

Ontario woodpeckers are beautiful animals but they can sometimes be pesky. The incessant pecking noise can get on the most patient person's nerves at times. So why, you ask, do woodpeckers peck? There are quite a few reasons why these birds feel the need to constantly drill on everything. First of all, male woodpeckers drill on things in a certain rhythm in order to attract a mate. This “drumming” is designed to woo the woodpeckers. This specific type of pecking is also designated to establish territory. Other woodpeckers hear this shallow pecking and often know to back off. Where this specific type of pecking is heard, there is often minimal damage to houses, or anything else they peck on. The second type of drilling is done to obtain food, though this is usually done on trees and bark, not housing. Sometimes, however, woodpeckers feel the need to check our houses for food as well. When this happens, the damage done is usually slightly worse, leaving deeper holes especially where more food happens to be located. The third and final reason that woodpeckers peck is to create a nesting area. This type of pecking creates extensive damage to housing and any surrounding wood as they are creating a large hole by drilling in one spot repeatedly. There can also be smaller, shallower pecking sites near to the main nesting one.

There are several recommended steps in order to discourage California woodpeckers from creating holes in your house. First, removing most of the tree cover around your house makes the bird feel less safe and causes them to search for a more covered area to peck. If you find that the animal is attempting to make a nest in your house, a bird house might be the way to go. Redirecting the nesting site to a different area may cause them to leave your own home alone. If the pecking is attributed to mating or territory calls, you may want to leave hollow stumps nearby to draw the bird away from your house and to a better area still within their territory. If the pecking is attributed to a search for food, you can also hang a bird feeder. Woodpeckers tend to gravitate toward insects so a diet of this variety is highly recommended.

If none of the above work to deter the Ontario woodpeckers, you can attempt scare tactics in order to get the animal to move its territory. Loud noises often scare the birds away harmlessly. Sudden movement such as flags will also scare the animals away. If the animal continues to peck away at your house, try covering the affected areas with netting or cloth so they will have to peck elsewhere. Using more than one of these tactics at once will hopefully cause the woodpecker to stop pecking your house and move elsewhere.

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