Woodpeckers in Atlanta, Georgia, are generally most active during the spring and early summer months, particularly from March to June. This period coincides with their breeding season, when they are more likely to be seen and heard as they are busy establishing territories, attracting mates, and raising their young.

In terms of daily activity, woodpeckers are diurnal, meaning they are active during daylight hours. They are most active in the early morning and late afternoon when they forage for food and engage in drumming behavior to communicate and mark their territory.

Woodpecker Drumming – First Sign of a Woodpecker

A woodpecker’s rhythmic pecking is called drumming. Woodpeckers batter wood to find food, make a home, mark territory, and attract a mate.

A woodpecker taps on a tree, listens for movement of insects under the bark, and drills only when it hears sound inside. This behavior saves the bird the effort of drilling into numerous trees only to find them empty. If the woodpeckers are drilling many small holes, the siding is probably infested with insects that appeal to woodpecker appetites. Similarly, a woodpecker taps on trees to find one suitable for nesting.

When attracting a mate, the louder the drumming the better. It is a signal for male woodpeckers to stay away while also attracting females. If woodpecker drumming is especially loud in the spring, they are likely looking for a mate.

Urban woodpeckers have adapted to our environment. Drumming also makes their presence known. They instinctively make their noise on trees, branches, drain spouts, utility poles, streetlights, TV antennas, silos, and other structures that resonate loudly. Metal things they drum on include chimney caps, vent pipes, gutters, aluminum siding, TV antennas, drain pipes, and power poles. This drumming establishes their territory, similar to most other birds’ singing, and may also attract a mate, which is why drumming activity is at its highest in spring.

Common Woodpecker Problems for Homeowners

Property Damage: Woodpeckers drum on surfaces, including siding, trim, and wooden structures. This persistent drumming can cause damage to the wood, creating holes, and weakening the structural integrity of the affected areas.

Noise Disturbance: The constant drumming and tapping made by woodpeckers can be loud and disruptive, especially if they peck near bedrooms.

Nesting: Woodpeckers sometimes choose to build their nests in houses, particularly in the rotted or damaged wood siding. This can lead to further damage and potential problems with infestations of other pests.

Wildlife Conflicts: Woodpeckers may compete with other cavity-nesting birds for limited nesting sites, which can escalate territorial disputes and cause problems for other bird species in the area.

Attracting More Pests: The holes created by woodpeckers can attract insects, such as termites and ants, which may then infest the damaged wood.

Woodpecker Control from Critter Control

Proper bird control does not rely on traps. Bird traps are illegal and usually ineffective. Woodpeckers are a protected species so we use a combination of deterrents to encourage the woodpecker to fly away.

1. Visual Deterrents: Hanging shiny objects like reflective tape, CDs, or Mylar balloons near problem areas can create a visual deterrent. The movement and reflections tend to intimidate woodpeckers. Additionally, you can try installing scarecrow decoys or eye balloons with fake predator eyes.

2. Auditory Deterrents: Using sounds that mimic woodpecker distress calls or predator calls can scare away woodpeckers. You can find recordings of these sounds online or use a wind chime or wind spinner to create noise and vibrations that discourage woodpeckers.

3. Physical Barriers: You can cover the affected areas with bird netting or hardware cloth, ensuring that the mesh is at least 2 inches away from the surface to prevent the woodpeckers from accessing the wood.

4. Visual Disruption: Creating patterns or designs on the wood surface can make it less attractive to woodpeckers. Paint or stain the area with bold, contrasting colors or use a stencil to create a pattern that disrupts their perception of a suitable pecking surface.

5. Food Source Removal: Woodpeckers are attracted to homes with insect problems. Ensuring that your house is well-maintained and free from pests like termites or carpenter ants can help reduce woodpecker activity.

Remember, woodpeckers are protected birds, so it’s important to use humane methods that do not harm them or violate any regulations. If the DIY methods don’t work, it may be advisable to consult with a wildlife professional or pest control expert to address the issue effectively.