A Note to the Red-bellied Woodpecker Out Back

Let’s set aside, for the moment, the absurdity of your name. It’s your head that’s red; your belly only has a slight tinge of color, and it’s down low and very hard to see. Even Wikipedia calls your name “somewhat misleading.”

But that’s not your fault. This, however, is:

No matter how hard or how long you hammer at the downspout outside my bedroom window, it will never yield up the tasty insects you’re looking for.

Your drilling is giving me a headache. Move on, please.

Categories: Birds, Life in Florida | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “A Note to the Red-bellied Woodpecker Out Back

  1. OK, just to remind you — red-bellied woodpecker are on the list of protected migratory birds in 50 FCR 10.13 — see also 16 USC 703-716. In other words killing them is a Federal crime.

    It is also the case that woodpeckers are famous for learned behavior — so once a bird starts pecking outside your window, it will not be deterred.

    Still, killing that woodpecker would be a federal crime. So you should definitely NOT consider going to the hardware store and buying a rat trap, then buying some suet, setting the trap, using masking tape to affix the trap to the bedroom window downspout (for a total cost of under $10), and awaiting the inevitable illegal murder of the bird.

    Better to just to plan to spend the summer waking up a half-hour before dawn. And, since the bird will return to the same spot next year, plan to wake up a half-hour before dawn every summer for the lifetime of the bird.

    Or, you could just move.

  2. Maybe I could perfect my Red-shouldered Hawk call. If the call doesn’t scare away the woodpecker, maybe it will entice a real hawk to do the job for me.

  3. Is this a thinly veiled reference to me and bullheadedness? Cause, even if it isn’t, I’m going to take it way.

    But I’m not a fan of suet. Stuff it with shortribs and fries.

  4. Adam, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  5. indigobunting

    I’m enjoying this. And your dreams. And the fact that you’re back.

  6. Mali

    I’m with IB. I love having you to read.

  7. when I was living in the South, I grew to hate a mockingbird that sang all night outside my window.

  8. These woodpeckers are becoming increasingly rare and endangered. Their numbers have plummeted. To have one appear at your house is a gift and a blessing. Better to ask why the medicine bird is paying you a visit and finding your coffers hollow.

  9. I hear you! Old post but I found it because of the red-bellied friend (his opinion, I think, NOT mine) that found our house last year. And this. And as far as the federal offense goes, I need to look that up, because as the red-HEADED woodpecker is a protected species with numbers plummeting, the red-BELLIED woodpecker (yes, it does still have red on its head, and much more than on its belly) is not. It is considered a nuisance some places, and certainly not endangered or in numbers that would qualify it for protection. Fake owls don’t work. Banging back from the inside of the house doesn’t work, running out to scare it doesn’t work, there is a grand population of owls & hawks around here, so apparently that isn’t a deterrent. Ugh. Stupid woodpecker. 🙂

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