What to Do if You Have Woodpeckers Drumming on Your House

Colorado is home to several species of Woodpeckers. The most abundant is the common flicker. Flickers in flight can be identified by a yellow or reddish tint under the wing and tail feathers. They also have black spots on a tanish-white breast and belly. Male flickers have a black or red "mustache" extending from the gap of the beak to below their eyes.

The flicker can be heard by Village residents drumming on wood siding, eaves, shingles, and vents of homes. The flicker is territorial; and the drumming defines their territory and attracts mates'. Woodpeckers also drill holes for nesting and roosting. Woodpecker drumming is most common in the spring during early morning and late afternoon and usually ends by July 1.

Woodpeckers Are Protected

Woodpeckers are migratory birds and are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty. A federal permit is required before any lethal or harmful control methods can be employed against the Woodpecker. There are, however, a number of different techniques one can use to discourage their activities. The most successful techniques are listed below.
  • Provide an alternative drumming site. Nail two thin boards together. Nail the first board to a solid secure surface at least 6 feet off the ground (example: a large tree trunk or a 4X4 post approximately 8 feet tall and secured firmly in the ground). Attach the second board near the top of the secured board to create a gap of air space between the boards of at least 3 to 4 inches. This produces a resonating sound when drummed, which woodpeckers enjoy.
  • Attach a compact disc on wood surfaces near the area where the woodpecker is drumming. The woodpecker will see a distorted image in the disc and should be scared away.
  • Attach a magnified mirror on stucco surfaces near the area where the woodpecker is drumming.
  • Woodpeckers making holes will often use an erected birdhouse, if available. This may stop drilling, nesting and roosting holes in your house.
  • Fill holes in wood with wood filler and then nail plywood over the area.
  • Hang aluminum strips, colored plastic streamers, and hawk silhouettes near the affected wood.
  • Treat wood with a sticky/tacky repellent. However, be aware these repellents may stain house siding.
  • Eliminate any ledges or cracks on which the woodpecker is able to stand while drumming.
  • The most effective woodpecker deterrent is a scare eye balloon that can be purchased at a garden center. Erect a scare eye balloon near the drumming area. The glaring eyes and gaping mouth exaggerate that of a predator bird.