Various species of woodpeckers can be found and heard throughout the forested regions of North America. Known for their habit of drumming on trees in search of food, woodpeckers use their stiff tail feathers for balance and powerful neck muscles to drive the blows. The bird has a thick skull which allows for shock absorption, as well.
Biology & Behavior
Woodpeckers are 7 to 15 inches long and have short legs, sharp clawed toes, and a stiff tail. Most woodpeckers feed on wood boring insects, vegetable matter, berries, or tree sap. The Northern flicker, which is responsible woodpecker damage to Utah homes, can be identified in flight by a yellow or reddish tint under the wing and tail feathers. The hairy, downy, three toed, and Lewis’s woodpecker and the red-naped and Williamson’s sapsucker occasionally cause problems in Utah.
What Does a Woodpecker Sound Like?
Red-headed Woodpeckers give all kinds of chirps, cackles, and other raucous calls. Their most common call is a shrill, hoarse tchur, like a Red-bellied Woodpecker’s but higher-pitched and less rolling. When chasing each other they make shrill charr-charr notes.
Red-headed Woodpeckers drum on trees, utility poles, tin roofs, stovepipes, or the sides of houses to drive away territorial intruders. Drumming includes a two-part hammering sound, as well as a staccato roll somewhat like that of a Downy Woodpecker (with one-second bursts of 19–25 beats per second, repeated 2–3 times). They also tap slowly on surfaces near the nest cavity when choosing a nest or communicating with their mates.
This scat consisted of a small pile of bits of insect exoskeletons!
Pileated Woodpeckers eat ants, primarily carpenter ants, during the winter. They usually defecate frequently during the day at their foraging sites.
One survey of woodpecker damage to homes reported an average loss of $300 per incident. Such destruction is rare in urban areas, but it can be extensive in suburban and wooded areas, even where woodpeckers seem to have plenty of natural alternatives to houses.
Commonly ASKED QUESTIONS?
What do you do with trapped animals?
That answer depends on the state in which you live. Each state has their own laws that dictate what we must do when it comes to controlling wildlife on your property. In some states, we can trap, transfer and release the animals. In some states we can trap the animals, but we can only release them back onto your own property. If you don’t want the animal released on your property, it must be humanely euthanized. Sometimes we don’t even need to trap the animal and a simple exclusion device (one-way door) can be installed to allow the animal to exit your home and be locked out.
How much does it cost to remove an animal?
There are a number of factors that determine pricing; location of the animal (i.e. – chimney, attic, crawl, wall void, living area), condition of the animal (i.e. – sick, aggressive, dead), location and condition of the property and time of year (i.e. – weather condition, offspring present?). Generally speaking, pricing will vary by location and species for just the animal removal and that pricing usually does not include the entry repair.
I think I have birds in my chimney, can you get them out?
The answer to that question is most likely “Yes”, but are you sure what you’re hearing is birds? Raccoons easily invade chimneys and they have their litters on the smoke shelf of fireplaces. The sounds baby raccoons make are often mistaken for birds in chimneys and removal can be difficult. The only birds that nest in chimneys are chimney swifts and they’re federally protected, so removal can’t be performed, but exclusion can be – once they depart. If you have a pre-fabricated chimney and birds fall between the cooling tubes, removal is nearly impossible.
How soon can you get here?
Office hours vary from franchise to franchise, but generally speaking, office hours are 8am – 6pm M-F and 9am – 3pm on Saturdays.
“Prompt service and got the raccoon out of our chimney easily. No mess. Very friendly guys! Thanks for you help!”
“Zack and Jerry were nice, clean, fast, very professional, got those raccoons out of our attic nice and quick, they don’t try to over sell you, no pressure, I very much recommend them…”
“Zack and his tech at Critter Removers were excellent! They were always quick to respond! They made us feel like we were a priority. They were knowledgeable about the best way to go about solving our raccoon problem.”
“They were quick to respond, and very efficient. They even responded to my call very early in the morning. I had a mom and 3 very big, very loud baby raccoons in my chimney and they were great at taking care of the problem.”
“Zach was great! He answered our several calls late at night and walked us through the process of removing a dead raccoon from our chimney. He worked quickly and efficiently, we were very impressed. We will definitely use him again!”
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