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In early spring, a male flicker may drum on a metal stovepipe or other resonant surface to attract a mate and proclaim his territory. This doesn't damage your house. If your flicker is drilling for food, you'd better check for carpenter ants or other insects! A flicker may also be excavating a nest cavity. If so, you can put up a nestbox nearby. The pair that adopts it will keep other flickers away. If it's late spring or summer and you discover a big hole, there's probably a brood inside, and it's illegal to disturb them.
Written by Chris Peterson
This is BirdNote!
[Loud and brisk sound of a Northern Flicker drumming on a house]
“Hey, Buster! What do you think you’re doing, pounding on my house?!”
[Repeat Flicker drumming]
Does this sound like you? Is the Northern Flicker on your house drumming, drilling, or excavating?
In early spring, a male flicker may drum on a metal stovepipe or other resonant surface to attract a mate and proclaim his territory. [Flicker drumming on pipe] While this sound can be annoying, it doesn’t damage your house.
Your flicker could be drilling for food — a signal that you, too, should be checking to find the source of those carpenter ants or other insects. [Flicker drilling]
In spring, a flicker may also be excavating a nest cavity. Fewer and fewer dead trees mean the birds are looking for alternate sites.
If a flicker has started to chisel a cavity, you can put up a nest box nearby. The pair that adopts it will also keep other flickers away. [Aggressive flicker repeated-note call -- the male "spring song."]
If it’s late spring or summer and you discover a big hole, there’s likely a brood inside, and it’s illegal to disturb them.
Find a list of reliable ways to scare away flickers if they’re bothering your house. Visit our website, birdnote.org. [Calls of the Northern Flicker]
Ah, the Northern Flicker, a bird with a gorgeous Latin name Colaptes auratus
(ko-LAP-teez aw-RAY-tus ) – the “golden chiseler.”
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
Calls and drumming of the Northern Flicker provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Drumming on wood recorded by D.S. Herr; territorial call recorded by V.W. Ward.
Drumming on metal pipe recorded by C. Peterson
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org March 2013 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# NOFL-03-2010-03-07 NOFL-03 http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/living/northernflickers.htm