A woodpecker, identified by a sound recording as either Red-bellied or Pileated, has been banging something that sounds like metal on the house, intermittently during the last two weeks, usually in the morning around 8:00, sometimes lasting a few hours. It almost sounds like rapid bursts of an automatic weapon going off, and sometimes echoes down the chimney pipe, so that I hear it in the pipes near a furnace and hot water heater. I don't know exactly where it is, maybe in a metal gutter, chimney guard, by a metal attic window guard, or somewhere else, but it's somewhat unsettling, and also I don't know if I should or could do anything about it. Thoughts?
Not that this helps solve it but this time of the year is when there is a lot of courtship and territorial advertising going on.
Male woodpeckers know there are no bugs to eat when they hammer on metal. It's the noise they're looking to make. Gutters, tops of chimneys and other metal things.
It probably sounds different than if it is hammering on clipboard siding. If it does sound like wood, that could be a sign that the woodpecker is going after bugs in decaying wood somewhere. Not likely though.
We saw the woodpecker loudly banging away on a metal chimney cap far above the house, which is why we can hear it drilling through the pipes all the way down to the first floor. So, it's pretty clear that he's sending out a spring mating call rather than pecking for food. Now, we're not as concerned about the house, though wondering if we can adjust the metal cap to tone down the hammering.
For the past several weeks a downy woodpecker has been woodpeckling each morning and evening on a hollow branch in our neighbors sycamore. With the rain and storms I hadn't heard it for about a week. This am... he's back. I'm so happy.
Is this the solution? I don't think so, but at least I don't feel so alone. I'll start by purchasing some reflective bird scare tape for $12.00, and use on top of the chimney cap.
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