Julie’s gadget diary – I caught this bird interaction with my Nest cam today

I love my Nest cameras because they record everything they see 24/7 and not just a few seconds after motion has been detected.

You never know what kind of interesting things that serurity cameras might capture. A few years ago I wrote a story about a mystery that was solved with the help of my Nest cam and today I have another video clip for you. Click through to check out the crazy bird battle that was captured with one of my Nest cameras this morning.

Fast forward to the 1:30 mark and keep watching till about the 2:00 mark and beyond.

The big bird is a pileated woodpecker, which is the largest woodpecker in North America. Unfortunately, the lighting in this video doesn’t show his bright red head. This a big bird. He’s about the size of a small crow.

The little board is an eastern phoebe. She has a nest with babies in the eaves of the roof above those posts on my front porch and she’s NOT happy that Mr. Woodpecker is there.

I was really surprised and impressed how she keeps flying at a bird so much bigger than she is. She does finally give up though. And thankfully so does the woodpecker. I’m worried about what I’m going to find when I get home tonight to inspect the posts. We’ve never had problems before with woodpeckers pecking on the house, so I hope this one doesn’t decide to stick around.

Update (later same day)

This is what I found when I got home. This really sucks. The woodpecker has really damaged one of the supports for the roof of my front porch. 🙁

I read that shiny moving things can deter them from drilling so I hung a pie tin over the area. That won’t keep him from moving to another support post though.

Anyone else had to deal with something like this?

Read this:  Blink announces IFTTT integration for their home security cameras

Update 06/09/17 (next day)

I didn’t see the woodpecker today and I can’t see that there’s been more damage. Last night after I added the pie tin, he did come back and landed in the same spot so I’m not so sure the pie tin really helped although there was a slight breeze today. I also left Max (our cat) outside all day and after reading some comments here and on my Facebook post, we put the suet feeder back in place. Hopefully one of those things made the difference and he won’t be back.

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22 comments… add one
  • Robert L Grenader June 8, 2017, 3:55 pm

    Get a Cat, that’s what I used to do. Or, sheathe the supports in lead.

    • Julie Strietelmeier June 8, 2017, 4:03 pm

      We have a cat but we don’t leave him outside during the day. We’re actually getting ready to have vinyl siding put on the house in a couple weeks. I guess we need to have the posts wrapped in aluminum. Ugh… I didn’t want to do that though. We’ve never had problems with woodpeckers before and have been here for almost 20yrs.

  • Wiley Johnson June 8, 2017, 4:11 pm

    Many years ago, driving around edge of DFW airport, I saw a LARGE Red Tail Hawk slowly flapping his wings. As i got nearer, i say that he was being pursued by a Mockingbird. Very funny to see. Mockingbirds can be very territorial. Cats have suffered in the past.

  • Donald Schoengold June 8, 2017, 4:39 pm

    Is there anything that you can put on the posts that tastes bad to birds.

  • Smythe Richbourg June 8, 2017, 6:04 pm

    That really gives new meaning to the phrase “flying off the handle”, doesn’t it? (I’m here all week folks. Tip your servers!)

    Large fake snakes are said to frighten birds away. I’ve also had friends that have put up fake owls. Works for rodents as well. The pie pan may work, but it needs to be suspended so it can move freely. It’s the noise and the motion that makes birds stay away. They have to think it’s alive.

  • David June 8, 2017, 7:50 pm

    Hire a bunch of eastern phoebe???

  • Earl June 8, 2017, 10:47 pm

    Catches all crooks, human or animal – NEST makes a good product!

  • Sue Wilson June 9, 2017, 2:18 am

    Is the woodpecker finding insects in the wood? That’s what he wants — so double-check that the wood is AOK. If the wood is good, put more things on the posts besides the pan to keep him from landing there. Hang twirly things — mardi gras beads — shiny ribbons — flags — stuff to keep him away. The phoebe is doing good, but would be happy with some help.

    • Julie Strietelmeier June 9, 2017, 6:10 am

      The wood is fine. It’s a treated post. We’re leaving the cat outside today and putting a suet feeder back. We had taken the bird feeders in the day before yesterday due to raccoons getting into them and stealing the suet cages. I’d rather have the coons stealing $2 suet cages then this. We never saw the pileated woodpecker on the suet feeder, but maybe that’s what he was really looking for. We’ll see what happens today.

  • craig June 9, 2017, 7:26 am

    looking at your picture, my guess is the WP wasn’t looking for bugs

    ours aren’t pileated but the five varieties that stop by our yard make precise holes when hunting bugs

    the post beneath our suet feeder looks just like yours
    we assume the birds are after the remains of the cakes that drop

    you may just have a bird that is declaring his suitability as a partner

    • Julie Strietelmeier June 9, 2017, 7:29 am

      You could be right. I read that the drum/drill in the spring to state their territory and to put out a call for love. He’s getting NO love from me though. I love birds, but not when they start wrecking my house.

      • craig June 9, 2017, 8:08 am

        ours drum from February to October

        the flickers seem to prefer the sheet metal vents on the neighborhood roofs

        good luck with your new adventure

        • Julie Strietelmeier June 9, 2017, 8:23 am

          Ugh. We’ve been here for almost 20 years and this is the first time we’ve had this issue.

  • 1000acres June 9, 2017, 11:21 am

    We have lots of woodpeckers in our yard. They love the suet feeder but when the suet runs out, they let us know by pecking holes in the shingle trim of the house. We try to keep the suet feeder full and also made several ‘CD windchimes.’ The shiny CD’s spinning in the wind seem to deter them some. Beautiful but pesky birds!

    • Julie Strietelmeier June 9, 2017, 11:47 am

      I bet us removing the suet feeder just the day before might be the reason why he went all Woody woodpecker on the post. I just hope that’s it. Suet is cheap. Repairing the house isn’t. Oh and good idea about the CDs! I actually have a stack I was going to throw away.

  • Sue Wilson June 9, 2017, 1:02 pm

    Suet was the clue that wasn’t on your post when i looked at it — that’s what he was looking for. CD windchimes sound like the perfect addition. Good luck!

    • Julie Strietelmeier June 9, 2017, 1:05 pm

      So far I haven’t caught him on the Nest cam today and the suet feeder is hanging up again. So fingers crossed!

  • Julie Strietelmeier June 9, 2017, 4:09 pm

    Update 06/09/17 (next day)

    I didn’t see the woodpecker today and I can’t see that there’s been more damage. Last night after I added the pie tin, he did come back and landed in the same spot so I’m not so sure the pie tin really helped although there was a slight breeze today. I also left Max (our cat) outside all day and after reading some comments here and on my Facebook post, we put the suet feeder back in place. Hopefully one of those things made the difference and he won’t be back. 

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