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Why do woodpeckers peck wood? | Learn to stop woodpecker home damage

This question haunts some homeowners, as woodpeckers may choose their house as a sound-amplification tool, a buffet, or a temporary home. We will answer this question and provide tips on preventing home damage in this post!

Red-naped Sapsucker (male)
Red-naped Sapsucker (male)

Want more interesting bird facts? Or maybe you are a glutton for punishment and want to read more of our words.

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Why do woodpeckers peck wood?

There are four basic reasons why woodpeckers peck. And while the pecking may be viewed as a pestilence by some homeowners, most humans can relate to the reasons:

  1. Attract a mate

  2. Find Food

  3. Build a home

  4. Store Food

Why do you work? Why do you garden? Why do you do anything you do? Likely, you share these same four ideals.

We could honestly end the article right here. Those are pretty self-explanatory reasons to peck on stuff. However, in order for this blog to show up in search results, I probably need several more words. So, if you want more explanation, read on.

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Woodpeckers peck to attract mates

Woodpeckers are not Passerines (songbirds). What does that mean? It means their vocal repertoire is more limited. Simply, woodpeckers do not really sing. How do they make up for their lack of vocal skills? They make as much noise as possible by pounding their face into wood, metal, and plastic. We call it drumming.

Drumming is usually performed on a dead or dying branch/trunk of a tree. Why dead or dying? A hollow/hollowing log can produce a louder sound. Of course, when you want to produce a loud sound, slamming into metal flashing can also give the appropriate levels. This leads to conflicts with humans that do not want woodpeckers pounding on their houses at 5 am. How can this be prevented? We will cover drumming prevention techniques in the next section.

Get your own woodpecker!
stuffed northern flicker