BIRDS 2010

85 Nacoma Lane, Blue Ridge, GA

 “Birds have been on this planet, Miss Daniels, since Archaeopteryx, a hundred and forty million years ago. Doesn’t it seem odd that they’d wait all that time to start a, a war against humanity.”

Birds the Movie 1963

 We had been away traveling on a three-day mini vacation to see old homes in Eufaula, Alabama. Upon arriving home I walked around to the back of the house looking for the cat. Strange, on the ground were small bits of pink insulation. “TJ” I called. We continued around to the back where we found more pink packets, dozens of them. “I’ll bet the stupid dog has something to do with it,” I growled. “Look up,” TJ cammanded. Above us on the upper floor level were five huge holes, as big or bigger than a softball. “What,” we muttered shocked. Each side of the house had three holes. The front has a porch the length of the house and was spared.

The next morning at 6 AM our concerns were confirmed. Tap does not describe the sound, wham does. Wham, wham, wham, over and over as three woodpeckers drilled into our cedar house. I ran out to the back deck and screamed at them. Oh my gosh, they came out of the holes, they’re building nests. We have had smaller woodpeckers before that only tapped and ate inscect. This bunch planned to move in. All morning we ran outside and yelled and they quickly returned. The holes were getting bigger.

A bird book identified them as Common Tangers. Searching on the internet I found horror photos. woodpeckers can continue pecking through sheetrock into the house.

The next day a contractor arrived, pulled out planks, inserted metal flashing and renailed the boards. Before he filled in the holes he wanted to see if the birds would return.The next mornng we lay awake at dawn listening.


Kathy: When do you think they’ll come?
TJ: I don’t know.
Kathy: If they’re bigger birds, TJ, they’ll get into the house.
TJ: Well, it’s just a chance we’ll have to take.
Kathy: Maybe we ought to leave.
TJ: No, not now. Not while they’re massing out there.
Kathy: When?
TJ: We’ll just see what happens.
Kathy: Where will we go?
Mitch: I don’t know. We’re safe here for the time being..

 Whack, whack, whack, they were back.

 The internet, county agent, and the man we called to fill in the holes agreed that our best hope was to scare them away and hope they found a neighbor or another neighborhood to terrorize. Suggestions included rubber snakes, clanging metal mobiles, silowettes of hawks, fake owls and more. We went with snakes, cable hanging off the roof eaves, and clanging stove liners.

An environmental site suggested building the woodpeckers custom bird houses. Yeaaa, keep them around. Nonsense! Forget that I was once on the board of the Georgia Sierra Club.


The next morning.

Kathy: When do you think they’ll come?
TJ: I don’t know.

 Two days, three, four days, they seemed to have left. It might have helped that our neighbor, who lives in a cedar house, shot at them with a bb gun and killed one. It has been two weeks and the house looks like hell, snakes, cables, but we are afraid to take the stuff down. Yesterday the man who tends the cemetary below our house knocked on the door to tell us that a snake was crawling up the side of the house. (Dec. 2010, the snakes remain, just in case they return in the spring).

I have out of town friends coming to visit the next two weekends, but I am not taking chances. In the meantime I found a plastic owl that has motion detectors. Once awaken it turns its head, hoots, and has blinking eyes. At $16.95 its a bargain. I am ordering it, just in case.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2013 04:16