Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meet The Flickers

I am so grateful to live on a farm with an abundance of wildlife. Birds flit about chirping and collecting food from flowers and the feeder. The squirrels gather acorns. The deer quietly graze in the fields. The Northern Flicker perches under the eaves above our bedrooms and uses its beak like a hammer BANG BANG BANG!!!!!! This just won't do.

My method of getting rid of the flicker is not long term, and really just a way of hoping the problem will go away by itself. I usually run out behind the house and scare it away. On my way I pass my sleeping guard dog that fearlessly protects us from coyotes, opossums, rattlesnakes, wild boar, etc, but completely ignores the bird that wants to move into our house. This last time I knew we were in trouble because I saw not one but two flickers.

The other day after the flicker(s) woke up the kids (again) I decided to take this more seriously. I got a sheet of mesh wire, wire cutters, and a heavy duty stapler from the barn. Next thing you know I am up on a ladder trying to staple the mesh wire to cover the eaves where the flicker has been chipping the wood away. This area just happens to be at the highest point of the house. To the gals out there who have used a heavy duty stapler while standing at the top of a ladder, holding mesh wire above your head with one hand and trying to staple it with the other, my hat is off to you. I am sure the flicker was enjoying every minute of it.

Mesh wire under eaves
The wire worked for a day or two, but because I only covered the peak area of the eaves, the flicker moved to the next available area to start again. I decided to look online at what we could do about this. I am grateful that I easily found this site online with suggestions for keeping flickers from damaging and/or drumming on your home. I also learned that the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects Northern Flickers.

Sheets visually block the area the flickers are attracted to
The next stage in our flicker prevention has been successful so far. This time when my husband was home I asked him to help - and thankfully he did the ladder/stapler part. We covered the eaves completely with the mesh wire, and then we hung some sheets from the edge of the roof, visually blocking the area that the flickers were attracted to. Fortunately this part of the house faces the hillside, so the sheets aren't too much of an eyesore. The site also recommended stapling large, rubber spiders in the vicinity of the area the birds are attracted to. I made a mental note to pick some up next time I am at Halloween City.

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