A little light reading.. HOME DESTROYED BY WOODPECKER
We have lived with our garden for some 12 years now and have a good collection of feathered visitors to the bird feeder and ground feeders around and underneath.
The garden is kept fairly free from slugs and snails, all in all we have a policy of looking after the birds all year round for their return of rummaging amongst the flower and shrub borders to keep down the nuisance soil pests.
About 2 years ago we bought a reasonable bird box and fitted it back to a silver birch, growing alongside some 27 other tress, mostly conifers and birch.
The small birds did take an interest and made it their summer home, but then along came a greater spotted woodpecker and decided to “ have a go” at getting into the front entrance.
This was only a 32mm hole, so it started to drill out a larger entrance as we watched from the comfort of the Living room.
Shards of wood went flying as he hammered away and created an opening of some 75mm aprox. And then deserted the box.
This large size opening was not appreciated by the masses of smaller birds so I set about removing it from the tree, some 3 meters high, and up a ladder, dismantled the front and using the old part , did cut out from other wood in the garage , a new front panel using the original as a template.
I had seen somewhere the application of square steel front plates for bird boxes with correct sized holes stamped through and 4 screw fixings. So I bought a few.
With the hole drilled out through the new wooden front and the steel plate attached it was a simple job to refit the front to the bird box, and hey presto , there we had an new impenetrable offering to the small birds.
Hhmm, not quite so, Mr [or Mrs.] Woodpecker decided that this was not fair play, so immediately started to create a new larger opening above the steel plate. We watched and observed in amazement. Why would it do this, having already opened out the box and rejected it ! !
It appeared that the initial attack was going to be all it desired to make the same sized opening as before, but not likely.
Over the recent weeks the hammering and drilling continued until the roof was partially destroyed as well as the front. It even attacked the side panel.
The result is , A NEW BIRD BOX , January 2018, from Wilko @ 50% off and only costing £2.50, quite well made, so there’s not too much gong to be written off financially.
This new box has a removable top half to the front panel, suitable for different birds and bats etc. so we wait and see whether the woodpecker shows any interest in the next week or so, or if it will again attack when the correct front panel is fitted, which will be needed soon for the new box to be used by the smaller birds.
We continue to have the spotted woodpecker as a very frequent visitor eating our food offerings, We just wish it wouldn’t destroy the bird boxes.
21st. February 2018