Yesterday, we went to do some errands at a commercial office building we own in town. There were bits of fiberglass insulation scattered all over the landscaping and stairs at the entryway of the building. When we looked up, this is what we saw. A pair of Northern Flickers had drilled through the siding and were making a nest in the insulation.
I quickly called pest control and the wild bird center. I learned that the Northern Flicker is a federally protected species and we could try to haze them away, but none of the pest control people had ever had success with scare tactics. They were not optimistic. These birds are very territorial and once they determine their nesting location, they will not relinquish it.
The wild bird center suggested we try to place a flicker nesting box over the hole in the hopes that the birds will decide to use it. We were told that time was imperative. Once they laid the eggs, it would be a federal offense to disturb them.
The hole in the siding was about 40 feet in the air. We would need a boom lift to get us up there safely. I called all over town trying to find one that would go that high and that would be available right away.
Finally, I tracked one down, and they met us at the building at 1:00. It was pouring rain! Here they are getting into their harnesses. That's Joe on the right.
Joe got in the basket with his tools and the flicker nesting box, and took a ride.
Here he is putting up the nesting box. The flickers flew out and perched on the peak of the roof the entire time they were up there.
I had a few raindrops on my camera lens by this time!
We are crossing our fingers and hoping that the flickers will like the nesting box and will not drill through the siding somewhere else (this is a real possibility) to try to build a nest elsewhere.
You can learn more about the Northern Flicker here.