Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Biggest Pecker

We woke up this morning to an awful sound. It was like a jackhammer starting up inside a tuba. It quickly became apparent that it was coming from our chimney pipe. I went outside to look, and found this fellow perched on top of the chimney cap, happily banging his beak on it and looking pretty proud of himself:
He's a male Northern Flicker, and it's mating season. Aparently a big part of proving that you are a very manly and attractive male Northern Flicker is making the loudest pecking noise you possibly can (although I should point out that, heard from outside the house, the noise was not nearly as impressive as it was from inside). As my dad says, it's how they "prove they are the biggest pecker around." It seems that when given a choice, today's modern flickers prefer chimney caps and metal roofs to the old-fashined sound of a snag or hollow tree. I guess I don't mind if he uses our chimeny (he's not likely to damage anything), but I'd really prefer if he could wait until after we've woken up in the morning before getting started on his sexy racket!


Georgetown House said...

What a hoot!! Thanks for sharing that, and I'm so glad that you got a pic!


addie said...

You're welcome! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I found your blog! I've had the same problem and thought there was something seriously wrong with my pipes. After reading your post and finding information on this bird I realized I had the same problem. It sounded like a jackhammer, followed by a laughing sound. Now that I know what it is I can laugh about it too. It has also let my alarm clock have a few days off, since he wakes me every morning. Thanks again!.

addie said...

It's odd, I've lived in the NW all my life and I guess I've just never paid attention to this before. I've told the story to at least a dozen people this week who all already knew that woodpeckers like to peck on chimney pipes and metal roofs in the spring. Including my parents, who say that it happend at our house when I was a kid. So I'm really glad to see your comment because
a) it proves I'm not the only one who didn't know about the woodpeckers,
and b) I'm glad that my post helped you solve your mystery. :)