Did You Know?
- The northern flicker is the most common member of the woodpecker family in Colorado.
- Woodpeckers are classified as migratory, nongame birds and are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
- Most woodpeckers feed on wood-boring insects, insects on trees and the ground, vegetable matter, berries or tree sap.
- Northern flickers have black spots on a tannish-white breast and belly. Males have a black or red mustache from the base of the beak to below the eyes.
- During the early spring, woodpeckers hammer to attract mates, to establish and/or defend a territory, to excavate nesting or roosting sites and to search for insects.
- The birds especially like to hammer on wooden shingles, cedar or redwood siding, metal or plastic gutters and light posts because these materials produce loud, hollow sounds.
- Drumming is most common during early morning and late afternoon and usually ends by July 1.
Tips for coexisting with woodpeckers:
- Trying to drive woodpeckers away involves using visual repellents and loud noises.
- Woodpeckers are persistent once a pecking site is established so scaring them off requires immediate action.
- Prompt repair of holes may encourage woodpeckers to leave and may deter other woodpeckers.
- Hawk silhouette mobiles may be successful in deterring woodpeckers. Owl silhouettes have been shown to be less successful.
- Hanging plastic strips, reflective pinwheels and pie tins may also discourage them.
- Placing cavity-type nest boxes on buildings in the vicinity of flicker damage has shown some success. Once established, nesting woodpeckers defend their territories and keep other woodpeckers away.