About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Woodpecker Damage: A Simple Solution to a Common Problem

I have a red-bellied woodpecker that I think is trying to build a home in my tree. I think it might destroy the tree is there anything I can do?

Woodpecker Couple Go House Hunting!
 from MyBackyardBirding
Woodpeckers roost and nest in cavities. They are very selective and tend to look for dead trees or snags that have a hard outer shell and a softer inner cavity. Sometimes even the soft cedar siding of houses are chosen for this purpose. When aggressive hole making is a problem, a simple solution is provide a man-made nest box directly at the site that is being damaged.

As long as a nest is not already established, Northern Flickers, Pileated, Red-headed, Red-bellied, Hairy and Downy woodpeckers also may take up residence in bird houses. The 1.5 inch entrance hole of a bluebird house is big enough for a Downy woodpecker. Northern Flicker, Red-headed, Red-bellied, and Hairy Woodpeckers need a larger box with an entrance hole of 2.5 inch. Pileated Woodpeckers need a 4 inch entrance hole.

Woodpeckers like to excavate there own cavities so when using a nest or roost box be sure to pack it full of wood chips. Some customers have also told me they put Popsicle sticks over the hole to prevent starlings from taking over the house before the woodpeckers make a claim on the house. Woodpeckers have no problem drilling through the sticks and defending their home.
Watch the video of the house hunt: https://youtu.be/SpyHn8OOfUQ

Watch the video of the babies: https://youtu.be/0KpRzJ4pCkc

Related Articles:
-How do I stop woodpeckers from pecking on my house? http://bit.ly/KGItqF
-What’s the best suet for Michigan wild birds? http://bit.ly/tcKasp
-Hairy Woodpecker vs. Downy Woodpecker http://goo.gl/WMH31
-How many woodpeckers are in Michigan? http://goo.gl/P2qRv
-How do I Attract Woodpeckers? http://bit.ly/o4CLqI

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