Tag Archives: woodpecker

Bird Tales, Part 2

15 Mar

The battle with the pesky woodpecker continued for several days. In the end, we humans won. How did we do it?

There were no more new holes in the staghorn ferns, but there was a show of who is more superior. Every time hubby stuffed the opening with garden refuse – the bird would somehow remove all the stuffing! One evening, we discovered torn newspapers on the ground when we came home. How clever the pesky woodpecker.

The mess made by the woodpecker

After that episode, hubby decided to spray water-based repellant on top of organic vinegar, and this double dose only worked for a short period. The woodpecker was very determined. Hubby deducted it must be pregnant and ready to lay eggs, hence the urgency to make a home. Otherwise, how do we explain the persistency?

So we changed tactics and upped our defense. Hubby decided to stuff the hole with eggshells, recycled from his baking! We figured if newspaper pieces, leaves, and twigs can’t do it, perhaps something sharp and more potent as a stronger yet natural deterrent. The eggshells will provide nutrients for the plant and, at the same time, prevent the woodpecker from causing more damage.

Eggshells are a good deterrent

It was not easy to stuff the eggshells upwards, but they held. After several days, this latest effort proved to be successful! The pesky woodpecker has not been heard or seen. Perhaps it found another site to make its home and lay her eggs. Well, wherever it is, we hope it won’t come around to our garden and spoil hubby’s prized staghorn ferns in the future.

Bird Tales

8 Mar

The pesky woodpecker is certainly pesky. It tried to make another hole in the staghorn fern! Grr. Hubby sprayed organic vinegar to protect his prized staghorn, and it seemed to work, but only for a day; there are no more damages to the fern.

The next day, hubby awoke to the evil screech of the woodpecker. He jumped out of bed and went out to check on his staghorn. Two staghorn ferns are now damaged! Damn, this woodpecker is persistent. A new hole in the first staghorn, making it three holes now. And two holes in the other staghorn. Ooh, hubby is very upset.

The damages on two staghorn ferns

He stuffed the latest hole of the first staghorn with garden refuse again. The holes on the second fern were not too deep, so he left it as is. What must it take to protect the staghorn ferns? Hubby must not sit on his laurels and will have to reinforce the protection. The pesky woodpecker must be discouraged at all cost!

On a brighter note on bird tales, the rescued baby bird is doing fine. We were updated on its well-being over the weekend by the attendant who adopted the little bird. It is eating well and growing stronger every day. That is good news indeed, especially after our other horrid bird encounter.

Pesky Woodpecker is Back!

2 Mar

Hubby discovered a new problem on his prized staghorn fern in the front garden. The pesky woodpecker is back! It seems that Sunday was a day of bird stories. After our golf game and the little bird rescue, we got home, and hubby did his usual routine – watering the plants in the front garden. When he looked up to spray the staghorn, he saw two holes on the shield frond! He was not pleased. This time, the pesky woodpecker made two holes instead of one. Hrmph.

Top: The staghorn looks like Baby Groot with the two holes! Bottom: We’re stuffing your efforts, you varmint!

The next morning, he heard the noisy woodpecker and decided to do something to deter the pest. He stuffed the holes with twigs, leaves, and whatever garden refuse he could find. Later, when we were getting ready to leave the house for the office, we heard the woodpecker’s screeches. It was almost evil sounding as it was angry to discover the holes plugged.

We managed to see the small and feisty brown feathered pesky culprit, but I was not quick enough to take a picture. I can assure you it’s not the same bird as the previous one, although it is the same species, the Rufous Woodpecker. With the holes plugged, I hope it won’t attempt to make another hole! We have to monitor the situation. If it turns for the worse, hubby will do whatever necessary to protect his staghorn fern. We do not welcome woodpeckers in our garden.

Back to Glory

26 Oct

The giant staghorn fern at the front garden is back to its beautiful glory. This second fern is the one that the pesky woodpecker made a hole when it tried to make a second home. The fronds have grown well, and I managed to take a picture of the semi-covered damage before it was closed out.

Unfortunately, the first staghorn, a more precious species, could not be revived. Even after removing it from the tree to a better environment for intensive care, the fern did not make it. The hole made by the woodpecker was too deep, and the overall structure of the staghorn damaged beyond rescue.

We have not seen or heard the woodpecker for months now. I hope it stays away so that our revived staghorn can continue to thrive.

The second fern looking good now!

A Makeover

28 Jul
Chop… chop… and the grass below are no longer shaded!

The two trees in the front garden of the house were pruned a few days ago, together with all the other big trees along our road. Hubby had requested the contractor to do the honors as the trees were getting too tall for his reach.

And in order for them to get the job done, hubby had to remove several of his prized staghorn ferns as a precautionary measure, in case the pruned branches accidentally fell on the ferns and damaged them. Luckily no mishaps occurred.

The ugly gaping hole

But one fern has been permanently damaged by the darn woodpecker, some time back in February. The gaping hole is such a heartache to look at. We don’t think the woodpecker will return to it anymore as it’s rather damaged and unlivable, and most unlikely to provide any comfort. So hubby intends to nurture the fern to a more presentable shape before putting it back on the pruned tree.

What a Nasty Woodpecker

24 Apr

Hubby is not pleased. The woodpecker squatting in the staghorn fern in front of the house has certainly made itself unwelcomed. He attacked another staghorn fern to make another home!

The first home in the staghorn must have become unsuitable or unlivable because of the peeling and holes in the shield fronds. So the Rufous Woodpecker must have decided to relocate.

The first home, riddled with holes and peeling

The second staghorn is a beautiful lush and dense pride of hubby’s, and the nasty woodpecker helped himself to it to make a second home. And in the process, damaged the beautiful plant. Grr…

The damage to the second staghorn

Hubby then decided to put a stop literally to this by plugging the entrance of the second hole on the staghorn with a stalk of cut-off plant. Let’s hope this works. We will have to monitor.

Putting a stop literally to the damage

It’s a Rufous!

6 Mar

Last week, as we were getting ready to go out, I thought I’d checked the hole in the staghorn for no apparent reason. Suddenly, a little brown head popped out from it and scared the daylights out of me! I think likewise, the bird had a scare too.

I managed to have a good look at the bird as it flew away and can vouch it’s a Rufous Woodpecker. I saw enough pictures of the species on the internet when I was googling up the possibilities upon discovery of the woodpecker. So it’s good our feathered friend did not abandon the hole that he made.

Maybe in due course, there will be a family? We have to be cautious when approaching the staghorn especially when raking the leaves in order not to scare the woodpecker or ourselves in the future.

The Lazy Woodpecker, Part 2

28 Feb

It seems that the woodpecker is a family bird, that’s why it was creating a comfortable soft cavity for a nest! Although I managed to take a picture of it, I could not see the coloring and features clearly. It flew away when I attempted to get closer.

But from what hubby described and a quick check on the internet, it resembled a Rufous Woodpecker, a species that can be found in our region. We could be wrong though. Anyway, this was a male woodpecker and typical of them to excavate a home for the missus.

While woodpeckers may be good for the ecosystem, they do not bode well with nature lovers (hubby here in this context) because they destroy the plants/trees with their pecking. Case in point the staghorn now has an ugly huge gaping hole on its shield frond.

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See the fella napping inside the deep cavity of the staghorn fern? Zzzz…

And after our discovery of it sleeping inside the staghorn that Sunday night, we have not seen the woodpecker since! We wouldn’t mind if the staghorn was used as a nest but to destroy it and then abandon without use, hrmph… I’m not pleased too.

Well, I guess we cannot reverse the situation and only hope the woodpecker will come back to use the cavity for nesting.

The Lazy Woodpecker

25 Feb

Hubby saw a woodpecker on Sunday morning and he was not pleased. The woodpecker was pecking away at his (hubby’s) prized staghorn hanging on the tree in front of the house.

Now isn’t a woodpecker supposed to be pecking at a tree and not a fern? What a lazy woodpecker, going about his business with an easy soft surface instead of the usual hard wood.

I managed to get a picture of it before it flew away. And the damage to the fern, holy moly… quite a deep hole. I hope the staghorn can be saved.

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Just look at the depth of the hole!