Woodpeckers versus side-view mirrors

'About two dozen car owners in the Nob Hill neighborhood of Snellville, Georgia, were perturbed in late October by what they thought was vandalism: Their cars' side mirrors were being shattered, even in broad daylight. Finally, according to WSB-TV, one resident caught the real perpetrator: a pileated woodpecker who apparently believes his reflection in the mirrors is a rival. Because pileated woodpeckers are a protected species, neighbors had to get creative with their solution. They are now placing plastic bags over their side mirrors while the cars are parked. [WSB-TV, 10/24/2017]'

I seem to remember we already talked about this several weeks ago


Who goes around piliating them woodpeckers, anyway?
And who would want a woodpecker?

I love those birds, wish I could see an Ivory billed once again, had a hole in a 12" tree started by a pilleated one this year at the cabins, early warning to have the tree cut down, the tree had a 6" dead limb, The tree guys were like watching an orchestra, those things are big as crows, no car mirror problems though

You can have them all. They’ve mangled my apple tree almost beyond recognition.

I see hairy woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, and occasionally a red-bellied woodpecker at my feeders regularly. They’re the only three types indigenous to the Northeast. I enjoy watching them, especially when they young ones fledge, but I can understand your feelings. Red-bellied woodpeckers tipped me off to carpenter bees creating nests in my house’s eves, so I guess I just see them as responding to something that I probably wouldn’t have known… and need to address.

If they broke my car’s mirror, I guess I wouldn’t appreciate them anymore. :scream_cat:

It’s understandable how a woodpecker can break the glass in a mirror. It’s stated the impact of a woodpeckers’s head is right in the 80-100 Gs range with all of that force concentrated on the beak tip.

Kind of reminds me of those emergency glass breakers.

As mentioned previously, when I lived 2 miles south of NH border in MA, I had a pileated woodpecker bore 3" diameter holes through the underside of my soffits to make a nice nesting area. They are found in MA and NH. They can be seen chasing off the Blue Jays around my feeders. If you haven’t seen one yet, consider yourself lucky. I don’t mind the smaller varieties but these can be a menace…

Excellent article, TT. Thank you.
Up here in NH I’ve only seen the three I mentioned, and I see them almost every day.

I went back to my National Geographic Field Guide of birds, and it confirms that the Pileated Woodpecker and the yellow-bellied sapsucker are indigenous to the northeast, while others are migratory… which makes them common in-season.

Good info.

Yeah, I had never encountered such large woodpeckers before that experience. Seacoast NH, the smaller ones are much more common but I have the big boys visit occasionally. You can tell one is in the area (or a hawk) when the crows start squawking out of control. Thankfully, one of those big ones never took interest in my vehicles!