Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Woodpeckers in the Glade


When George and I first bought our wooden house in Fairfield Glade on the Cumberland Plateau near Crossville, TN---we had no idea that there were HUGE woodpeckers in the Glade. We bought our home in 2002 and didn't move here full time for a year. BUT--we'd come on weekends to check out and enjoy our new retirement home.


One weekend, we noticed some small HOLES in our wooden house. UH OH---woodpeckers have been pecking on our house. Yipes!!!! What to do?????? We talked to some local folks only to find out that the woodpeckers seem to know when people are not home and they love to peck on houses up here!!!!


Then, we went online looking for things to scare them away. And we came up with all kinds of options which we immediately put into action:
1. Wind chimes (some big ones)---and we still have 6 sets of wind chimes all around the house since I love wind chimes!
2. Little mirrors nailed on the house beside the areas where the woodpeckers were pecking (mirrors scare them away since they think they are seeing another woodpecker)
3. We strung a big clothesline between trees in the area where the woodpeckers were pecking. On the clothesline, we hung lots of aluminum pie plates --which blew in the breeze. (Imagine what the neighbors thought about us as their new neighbors... ha ha)
4. A fake woodpecker hooked onto the house (which was there when we bought the house--and obviously didn't work by itself; By the way, the people we bought the house from didn't warn us about woodpeckers!!! Guess they didn't want to scare us off! ha)


Other yards had big fake owls or fake hawks hanging around--but we didn't have to get them. George repaired and painted the holes in our house---and we would pray that while we were gone during the week, we wouldn't come back to more holes... Guess what???? Our scare tactics worked!!! We have never (knock on wood) had anymore trouble with woodpeckers pecking on our home.


We do however see other wooden homes with either holes in the wood, or lots of 'scary' things around to scare them off. We only had to leave the pie plates and mirrors up for a few weeks--and now, we only have the wind chimes. I had always thought that woodpeckers were only looking for insects. But--I read that they love to peck their way into homes for a nice roosting place in the winter...


Now to the funny part of this story which luckily did have a happy ending: One time, soon after we bought our home, when we were getting ready to leave and before we had solved the woodpecker problem, we began backing out of the yard. I saw my first Pileated Woodpecker. Can you imagine what I said to George when I saw that monster?????? (It was probably x-rated! ha)... I looked at that bird and told George that if that bird pecks on our home that next week, we'd not have a home left. Talk about being scared!!!!!! You can also just imagine the look on my face when seeing my first Pileated Woodpecker... I'll never forget seeing that big big bird...


SO---after I started watching for and learning about birds this past Summer, I found out that there were not only Pileated Woodpeckers in the Glade---but there were several more woodpeckers. Since, at that time, I didn't know one woodpecker from the next, I had to start studying and learning!!! WOW--what beautiful birds. So far --I have seen and have pictures of FIVE different woodpeckers up here. The Tennessee Bird Book only lists six woodpeckers in TN--so the only one I haven't seen yet is the Hairy Woodpecker. Pictured above is our Pileated Woodpecker. Below are the others.



I love this picture (above) of a silhouette of our Pileated Woodpecker.



This beauty above is in the woodpecker family and is a Northern Flicker. I have not seen any since late Summer. We did have quite a few of them in the Summer/Fall. They generally do not come to the feeders--but feed on insects.



I love the picture above of the Northern Flicker --as he stands up and looks straight at me. Cute, huh???



I love this woodpecker pictured above. It is a Red-headed Woodpecker--and I luckily got his picture on our birdbath. I haven't seen him since --so I'm looking forward to seeing more Red-headed woodpeckers in the spring.



Above is Pete, our resident Red-bellied Woodpecker. Pete has a 'friend' Petunia--who also visits our feeders!!! These two prefer the sunflower and safflower seed to the suet feeder.



After I finally bought Suet and a suet feeder, we now have Downy's visiting us. Maybe we'll get a Hairy this spring!!!!!

45 comments:

Jayne said...

Can I borrow your red-headed for some photos? ;c) I've never seen one here. We see Pileated now and again, but never at the feeders. Lucky you! Glad they do leave the house alone though.

Mildred said...

Betsy, these are amazing photos. I especially love the red headed woodpecker. I've seen one in the yard and they are so brilliant. We had a problem with woodpeckers too and someone told us to throw rubber snakes up on the roof in the areas where the birds were doing the damage. It worked!

Smilingsal said...

You are an excellent photographer. Those shots are amazing. I guess you have a love/hate relationship with the birds.

Cedar ... said...

Those are fabulous shots, especially of the Flicker and Red Headed Woodpecker.

Mary said...

That is a wonderful shot of the Pileated! They are so big and unusual. I don't see them often. I never see the Red-Headed. I got one lousy photo last spring in New Harmony, but have never had one here at my house. I do have the Hairy. Woodpeckers are really nice and luckily don't bother the wooden parts on our house too much, but I think they peck on the garage walls which have more old cedar on them that needs replacing.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I think these guys are so cute...but yes, they can be such a pain too. We have the red chested "peckers" (I call them like I see em') :)
We have a stucco house/concrete tiled roof and our gutters are a hard plastic. Imagine the sounds of these guys in the morning hours pecking on the plastic gutters!!! jarring to say the least.
SO funny, all the work you had to do to deter them.....would love to see your yard all jazzed up like that. :0

The Incredible Woody said...

Thank you, thank you! I have searched and searched for the name of the Northern Flicker. I saw one of those birds one afternoon and was intrigued by all the patterns and color on him(?).

And the only kind of woodpecker I have ever seen is the pileated woodpecker. I have lived my whole life thinking they were red-headed woodpeckers. Wow - I really don't know my birds!

I did see a painted bunting once!

Small City Scenes said...

I love the birds too. We had quite an incident with a red-bellied woodpecker awhile back and I posted about it then. For days and weeks he pecked on my granddaughters window. everyday--on and on and on. And then on the corner street sign and then on a sign by our barn. Rap-a-tat-tat!!!It went on seemingly forever and then one day---silence. I don't know where he went. MB

Pigeon said...

Thanks for posting all the wookpecker pics. I am just begining to learn about birds and it really helps to see all of them grouped together. Nice job!

Pigeon said...

oops- Woodpecker not wookpecker!

Tina said...

Betsy,
Soo that's Pete! Handsome critter, I can see why Petunia is on the scene! Great pictures of all those birds.. I love flickers..such an array of patterns and colors on that bird! Great post!

Bird Girl said...

You are so lucky to get those red-headed woodpeckers! We used to have so many years ago - they even nested in our yard! But now the starlings have taken ALL their nesting sites and I have to travel to see them!
Yes, I bet that pileated did give you a SCARE! Aren't they magnificent, though?

Carla said...

I love woodpeckers! Especially the Pileated Woodpeckers. I didn't realize they were pecking holes in houses.:-) I've gotten photos of them, but mine aren't as good as yours. And I love your picture of the Red-headed Woodpecker. That's a beautiful bird!

Cassie said...

Great photos. We had a huge guy at our cabin 2 summers ago but I'm not sure what kind of woodpecker he was.I got Pat a Birds of the NW book for Christmas so maybe I'll be less ignorant next summer.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Yes Betsy,those Pileated are prety big,but beautiful.We had our first one on the yard about two weeks ago.We had seen them before,but this was a new yard sighting.
Blessings,Ruth

Gardener's Garden said...

Hi Betsy, I love that silhouette of your pileated and the beautiful green background. This would make a wonderful card.

Rose said...

We always think that Woody Woodpecker was based on the pileated woodpecker...by his looks and their actions.

At work, there was a flicker that would get on this big metal washtub that was turned upside down and he would peck away...I guess just to hear himself. We never could figure any other reason.

ramblingwoods.com said...

Wow..I have only seen a pileated once...what a great variety you have and good ideas to keep the woodpeckers from pecking the house. Usually they are looking for insects when they makes holes..

dot said...

Great post! It was really interesting and the pictures are wonderful. I hear the woodpeckers calling all around but very seldom see one. I call them Indian hens. My brother-in law once told me they were also know as the Lord-a-Gody. Because that was what a person usually said the first time they saw one. I read that in a book also but can't remember where.

Dorothy said...

Beautiful pictures! I really like the red-headed one that appears to be red, white and navy blue!!

Sioux said...

We only have the downy here, but I remember the first time I saw/heard a Pileated Woodpecker. It was in the state park right outside the Episcopal Convent of All Saints Sisters of the Poor. His scream woke us up...our grandson was 4 and it really scared him! Yesterday we saw a redheaded yesterday while we were geocaching.

Neal said...

A shotgun works also. :) Seriously, I think they are pretty but they can do a lot of damage. Carpenter bees can also do a lot of damage. They make a hole on the underside of wood so they don't get water in it when it rains. Only the female can sting (kind of like humans huh? :) )

MNGarden said...

I heard about those glade woodpeckers. We have most of those but I haven't seen a red headed woodpecker since we left MS. They hung out near the lake. He is striking.
Donna

Judy said...

I have a totally brick house and one morning last year I woke up to what I thought was a jackhammer running in my street. It was a woodpecker pecking on my gutter!!
There are at least 22 very large oak trees in my yard and he was sitting up there pecking on the gutter.... If this happens again, I am off to buy windchimes.

fishing guy said...

Betsy: I love your photos of Woody Woodpecker. I can't help think of that when I see a Pileated Woodpecker. They are real beauties.

Shellmo said...

Just love those pileated woodpeckers as well as those flickers! You got some great shots! So far (knock on wood - ha!) the woodpeckers haven't knocked on our log cabin, but if they do - I'll get the aluminum plates out!

Gill - That British Woman said...

I have never ever seen a woodpecker before. What an interesting post Betsy, you are such a joy.......

Gill in Canada

Deborah Godin said...

Absolutely wonderful shots! Love the Pileated woodpecker (Woody W!). I used to have hairy w's drill my siding. Drove my indoor cats crazy!!

The Birdlady said...

Ah, you've just gotta love woodpeckers - years back,they made a hole in my cedar house in Atlanta, and starlings moved in! What a mess! Your WP photos are great.

Kallen305 said...

LOVE your post. I have had a lousy work week and miss my birds so much. Seeing your pictures put a smile on my face. I love those woodpeckers.

Diane said...

Great woodpecker and flicker pictures. The one picture looks like he's wearing a bow tie!

Natural Moments said...

I love your red headed woodpeckers. Let's do a bird exchange. I've got some Hairy's that would enjoy a vacation to your feeder.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Jayne--Well, if and when I see the Red-head again, I'll definitely share him/her. I was lucky to get a good picture that one time...

Mildred--The red-head is one of my fav's also---but I only saw him that ONE time. They are probably around and I just hadn't seen them. Hopefully, I will in spring. We have LOTS of Pileated and Red-bellied though.

Sally-I just have a point and shoot digital comera--but it does okay. My hubby's camera does much better when zooming!!!! My relationship with the birds is 99% GOOD. especially since we haven't had anymore woodpeckers pecking on the house.

Cedar--I love the Flicker also.. Such a beautiful bird!!! AND--the Red-headed is gorgeous. Hope I see more of them in Spring.

Mary--That Pileated was pecking on a stump inour side yard. You should see what a mess he made of that stump in just a few minutes!!! Wooooo!

Suz---I've heard woodpeckers pecking on some of the electric poles in our area.. TALK about making alot of noise... AND--when they peck on someone's siding---YIPES... Yes, I'll bet the neighbors thought that the funny-farm people had moved in here!!!! Just close your eyes and imagine all of those pie plates hanging all over the place!!! ha ha

Woody--Glad I could help you identify the Northern Flicker. They are so beautiful --and DIFFERENT. When he stands up and sticks that head up the air, he's just precious!!! I didn't know all of my birds either--until I started studying them this past summer. It's still hard to identify them--and I haven't even tried to learn the big birds (like hawks, etc.) yet.

Hi MB, That's strange about the Red-bellied pecking on a window. We have lots of windows and sliding glass doors--and so far, we haven't had any trouble with the birds hitting the windows or pecking on them. I've heard of a Cardinal seeing itself staring into that window for hours. But we haven't noticed anything like that here.

Hi Pige--I agree that it helps showing birds in groups like this---showing the differences. That makes learning about that group of birds easier..

Tina--- Yes, that's Pete. He and Petunia visit our feeders every day --several times. And when I'm outside, Pete hollers at me from the trees. I love the Flickers also.. They are different which makes them special.

Barb-- Yes, the Pileated are magnificent birds... I had never seen one til that day--and I still don't know whether it was them (or another woodpecker) who was pecking on our house. At the time, I thought it was the Pileated. Well--at least, they quit pecking --so they are my friends!!!! Sorry about the Starlings. Hopefully we won't get them.. BUT--we do have our share of Pine Siskins.

Carla---Isn't that Red-head gorgeous??? I hope I see more of them this spring.. We do live in a gorgeous place, don't we?

Cassie-- If he was huge and had a loud 'call' --it was probably a Pileated Woodpecker.

Ruth---Glad you got to see a Pileated in your yard. Did you get a picture???

Barb--That's why I added the silhouette picture. I like it too. Thanks!

Rose--Wood Woodpecker is actually based on a Red-headed Woodpecker I think. Flickers --like most woodpeckers, seem to love to peck on something that makes noise.... Don't know why!!!!

Michelle--Isn't it interesting that we both posted woodpecker blogs on the exact same day?????? Around here, they seem to peck on most anything.... don't know why!

Dot--You can always hear if the Pileated Woodpeckers are around. Their call is LOUD. Interesting story from your brother-in-law!

Dorothy---Yes, I love the Red-headed one also.. I only saw him ONCE--so hopefully, I'll see him again this spring--and MORE of them (I hope).

Sue--The Pileated has a LOUD call for sure. He's awakened us many a morning in the summer when our windows are opened!!!! Of course, the Cardinals are the first ones up---chipping outside my window begging me to bring their breakfast outside for them!!!!

Oh Neal---you'll never imagine how often George wishes he had a gun (even a BB gun) to help us get rid of our chipmunks and squirrels... Hopefully, the woodpeckers won't ever peck on our home again. HOPEFULLY!!! ha.... Hmmm about that female remark!!!!! No comment... ha

Hey Donna---Yes---they definitely are the Glade Woodpeckers!!!! Ain't we lucky???? ha ... The Red-headed ones are gorgeous. I hope to see more of them in spring.

Judy--I think that woodpeckers like to HEAR themselves peck.. The more noise they make, the better!!!! When one pecks on our utility pole, you can hear it blocks away. The wind chimes seem to help. Our home is totally wood--and we have tons of trees around the yard. They have not pecked on our house since about 2002.

Tom--I always thought that the Red-headed woodpecker was Woody Woodpecker... BUT--maybe I'm wrong. I did love Woody though--no matter which woodpecker he is.

Shelley--I love them too.. That Flicker is so unique. The aluminum plates worked and so do the wind chimes. Good Luck!!! Hopefully, they won't peck on your cabin.

Gill--So there aren't woodpeckers in Canada, or at least that you know of --in your area. BUT---you have so many other great things in Canada that we don't have here, like SNOW!!! ha ha

Deb---I love the Pileated also... Have you heard his 'call'???? It is LOUD. I'd love to see a Hairy sometime. Maybe in Spring!!???

Helen--Yes, I do love woodpeckers. Glad we got rid of the pecking on our house before more damage was done. Luckily, that won't happen again!!! Thanks!

Kallen---Sorry work has been so bad. Hopefully it will improve SOON. Hang in there!!! Glad I could bring a smile to your face.

Thanks Diane--I love the Flicker also. He is unique--and does look like he has a bow tie on.. What a cutie!!

Bernie, You've got a deal... As soon as I 'catch' a Red-head, I'll put in on my private jet and send it to you!!!! You can then send me a Hairy!!!! Great idea!!! ha

Leedra said...

You got them all. Never seen a Hairy, so it will be special if you capture him.

As I sat here reading your story I can just see the reaction to the pie plates in the breeze. At the Glade? I am sure you have met some uppity(?) people at the Glade. That part had me laughing.

You are becoming quite the story teller.

Leedra’s Photos For Fun
Photography By Leedra

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Ha Leedra.... Nobody said anything to us when we put up the pie plates---but I'll be willing to bet that some of them wondered what kind of 'decorations' we were putting up in February!!!! ha ha..

We are lucky as to where we live in the Glade. We're in one of the 'older' areas where the homes aren't too large--and the people seem like regular folks.. If there are 'uppity' people, we haven't met them thank goodness.

Jessica said...

Hi Betsy! I did stop by yesterday and see your woodpecker post. I love it, as woodpeckers are some of my favorites. I am especially envious of your Red Headed! He's a beauty! I have seen a Red Headed once at my brother-in-laws house. Red Headed Woodpeckers seem to be declining in our area. And you got some great shots of the Flicker. I was so excited to see mine this morning.

Thanks for sharing all the woodpecker photos. I love being able to see all the wonderful birds on other blogs.

This Country Girl said...

Wow, Betsy! You have some great pictures of the woodpeckers and other birds! I especially love the silouette of the woodpecker! Have you thought of keeping a nature journal? You keep a record of all the birds seen in your yard (or any other thing from nature). You can put pictures too and label them with the name (and date seen). That would be a great thing to have! We have started doing that a little bit...we've taken pictures of wild flowers and even pressed some for our nature notebook. I'm going to try to do better this year on keeping that up. I think you would be great at it!

:) Tammy

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Jessica... I thought you'd enjoy my woodpecker pictures since you love woodpeckers like I do.

Thanks Tammy... I like that silhouette one also. That's why I included it. I 'sorta' have records of the birds in our yard --since I began birding last summer. BUT--you are right... I need to get all of the info in one journal. Thanks!!!

Daisy said...

Such wonderful woodpecker photos, Betsy. I never realized how many different kinds of them there are! :D

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Thanks Daisy.... I never knew much about woodpeckers either until I started studying them.

Mary said...

DO YOU KNOW HOW RARE A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER IS AROUND HERE? You lucky lady!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Mary, I do know how lucky I was to get his picture!!! Come spring--and I'll keep looking to see if he comes back.

James said...

I live in Cannon county.I bought my house 7 yrs. ago.And have lived in Tn.11 yrs.About 2 months ago I saw this giant woodpecker in my back yard.Needless to say I freaked out.I thought it was some kind of new rare breed.But after seeing your blog,I guess not.How much do these Pileated Woodpeckers weigh?Cuz I see this one everyday and it's bigger then my neighbors chickens! - J. Speed

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi James, Since I don't have an email for you --or a blog address, I'll have to leave a comment here for you. Hope you get it...

Pileated Woodpecker
Length
15.7–19.3 in
40–49 cm
Wingspan
26–29.5 in
66–75 cm
Weight
8.8–12.3 oz
250–350 g

Yes---it is a HUGE bird.. I have lots and lots of pictures of Pileated Woodpeckers on my blog. Go to my labels on my sidebar and scroll down to Woodpeckers... You'll see them at my suet feeder, on my deck rail and all over the place. They are my favorite bird for sure.

Thanks for stopping by.
Betsy
I

briankdoty11866 said...

Had a Northern Flicker Woodpecker in my backyard this morning. It was Beautiful. It was also the first time we've ever seen one.