What to do when your house catches the attention of woodpeckers

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Red-bellied woodpecker perched ~ above a building. Picture by Courtney Celley/UShistoricsweetsballroom.com.

You are watching: Is it illegal to kill a woodpecker

We in ~ the U.S. Fish and also Wildlife service know the living close come wooded areas and other natural habitats provides an excellent opportunities to watch birds and other wildlife. Occasionally wildlife can get a tiny too close for comfort. We regularly get questions around how come deter woodpecker task on homes. Your an initial thought can be to check out woodpeckers as pests and also call a local pest control company to eliminate them. Before you pick up the phone, take it a moment to review this.

Most birds space protected

Almost all birds aboriginal to the unified States, including their nests and eggs, are safeguarded by a federal legislation that has been in place due to the fact that 1918. The Migratory Bird contract Act protects much more than a thousand types of birds, including woodpeckers. Don’t allow the name fool you though, defense is not restricted to only individual bird or types that migrate. Inspect out the finish list of types protected through the Act.

With this large group of safeguarded birds, and varying legal approaches for handling unwanted bird activity on your property, you may feel overwhelmed. If friend live in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio or Wisconsin and also you have actually woodpecker activity at your residence that friend feel demands to be addressed, we can help. Call our Migratory Birds program at 612-713-5436 and also our wildlife professionals will assist you assess the situation and find legitimate solutions.

Why are woodpeckers interested in my home?

Your house may catch the fist of woodpeckers for a few reasons. In part cases, woodpecker task may alarm you to a bigger problem. Similar to people, woodpeckers require food and also shelter. If woodpeckers are beginning to peck at your house, examine your siding because that insect damage. It’s likely that the woodpeckers are going ~ a tasty treat within the wood. In various other cases, the woodpecker may be looking for a ar to nest. If your home has any kind of areas where timber is rotting, it can be particularly appealing come cavity nesting birds and other unwanted wildlife. Addressing any insect issues or rotting lumber can assist protect your home from unwelcome visitors. Sometimes woodpeckers room only trying to find a ar to stash part food or an easy method to communicate. Woodpeckers have also been spotted banging ~ above street indicators to amplify your drumming!

Be smart and stay legal

When dealing with any protected species, it’s crucial to be smart and also stay legal. Break conservation laws can have dire effects on wildlife and also expensive consequences for you or others involved. The was the an outcome in a recent situation involving a Wisconsin pest regulate company. In 2015, the agency owner showed up in state court, pled guilty to number of state violations and paid $4,185 in fines and restitution come the state of Wisconsin for illegally killing 108 woodpeckers for about 30 customers.

As we discussed earlier, woodpeckers have special commonwealth protection, however there are legal opportunities for removing unwanted birds top top a situation by instance basis. Together homeowners, you can maintain her property and also the obligation to occupational with us to construct the best method to minimize bird activity. In this case, the homeowners did no reach the end to united state to seek expert advice or patent to have the woodpeckers removed. In cases like these, homeowners are likewise liable for the illegal removed of safeguarded species.

If you have woodpecker task at your house that you feel demands to it is in addressed, we have the right to help. If you live in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio or Wisconsin call our Migratory Birds routine at 612-713-5436 and our wildlife professionals will help you evaluate the situation to find legal solutions.

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Red-headed woodpecker perched on a tree. Photograph by Jim Hudgins/UShistoricsweetsballroom.com.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and also Wildlife company is working through others to conserve, protect and also enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats because that the continuing benefit of the American people. We room both a leader and also trusted companion in fish and wildlife conservation, well-known for our scientific excellence, stewardship that lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and also commitment come public service.

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