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.
Drumming noises? Holes in your wood siding? Woodpeckers pecking and damaging your house? These sounds and damage may well be due to woodpeckers.

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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.



Woodpeckers can cause and annoyance by hammering or drumming on houses and can cause property damage by drilling holes in wood siding and eaves. Woodpeckers hammer to attract mates, establish and/or defend a territory, excavate nesting or roosting sites, and search for insects. ​Wooden shingles, cedar or redwood siding, metal or plastic guttering, television antennas, and light posts are selected as drumming sites because they materials produce loud sounds. The majority of damage occurs to cedar, rough pine, and redwood siding, although other siding materials are occasionally damaged. Drumming is most common in the spring during early morning and late afternoon. Drumming usually ends by early July.

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