Community prepares to battle woodpeckers

November 13, 2008 5:38:36 PM PST
The red-headed acorn woodpeckers that populate the oak trees in Rossmoor seem harmless enough, that is until they launch an all-out assault on nearby houses, pecking into the wood siding of the houses to store their acorns.

"We were sitting at breakfast and they were like dive bombers going back and forth," Duke Robinson said.

Robinson has been fighting the woodpeckers for years. It has become so bad that his home now sports a giant protective net.

"We have electric spiders that are run by batteries that drop down, sound activated," Robinson said.

Robinson even tried a noise maker, designed to scare off the woodpeckers with the simulated sounds of predators.

"They did try paint too, that had a smell to it and it just annoyed the residents, it didn't annoy the woodpeckers at all," neighbor Vicki Hipkiss said.

Now, two neighborhood associations in Rossmoor have acquired a permit from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife to shoot as many as 50 of the birds. The idea has ruffled more than a few feathers.

"If you shoot the woodpeckers, what else are you going to shoot," resident Molly Mullikin said. Mullikin is also concerned about lead from the bullets entering the environment.

"If the woodpecker drops dead someplace, and then the hawk comes down and eats the woodpecker, then it gets lead poisoning," Mullikin said.


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