Woodpeckers indicate a healthy forest and mitigate insect damage in our trees. Many commercial "solutions" for woodpeckers either do not work or harm the bird. And, though they may anger us, it is not kind or legal to harm them. Prevention is key, using physical solutions. Once a nest with eggs or babies is established, it is illegal to interfere in any way.
A legally permitted bird rescuer can move the nest only if it is ensured the parents will return to the new location (less than 2 feet away). Removing a tree or limb with an active nest (eggs or babies) is illegal and kills babies. A woodpecker nest can be cut out of a tree or limb and replaced somewhere else on that tree. Leave the trunk of the tree, and wire the cavity onto the trunk.
HARDWARE CLOTH - MAKE SURE THERE are NO BIRDs/BABIES IN A HOLE prior to covering!
Other cavity nesters may find your house appealing too.
this is a metal mesh.
Metal works great for woodpeckers.
Staple either directly on the damaged area,
or better, place it away from the house and angled to enclose the entire area.
Paint to match house with a metal-grade paint.
Make sure the bird cannot get behind the mesh!
SHEETMETAL - Glue or tack down over holes or areas. Paint to match. Bend around trim
NETTING (called Garden or Wildlife)
IMPORTANT - ensure a bird cannot get behind the netting (or you'll have to rescue them).
Attach to the underside of the eaves. Attach bottom so it is taught and secure sides or bird will go behind the netting.
Framing for a professional look. Be creative.
BOX THE AREA IN -
Enclose gable ends or put box around - a woodpecker wants to be UNDER the eaves, protected. Eliminate that option. Never leave a space over a beam open or vent holes without screen.
MYLAR STRIPS (OR OTHER SHINY THINGS) -
Tack up shiny Mylar strips every few inches across eaves. Tack down bottoms or add weight to keep down by adding duct tape. Holographic wind socks also work.
HANGING UP ANYTHING works, if you put enough of it -
PARACORD OR ROPE: BirdSavers.comhas a nice professionally produced product. "Scary Eyes" balloon; Holographic stringers, yard art items like pin wheels, be creative. Netting is less noticeable.
WINDOW SOLUTIONS - many of these solutions work for woodpeckers too.
Woodpeckers "drum" to mark territory during breeding season.
Paint metal caps, ridgelines with Rubberizing paint (talk to the Hardware store). Glue or attach burlap to wood or other non-flammable surfaces. Provide alternative drumming sites. Tolerance - get up when they do.
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Some "safe & humane" products are NOT - sticky glues or other substances kill birds, they cannot physically remove substance from their feathers.