A woodpecker in our tree is a science lesson, but a woodpecker on the house is a disaster. My two children love our little science projects. I’m the kind of mother who’s more worried about the cleanup than the project itself. If it’s messy and the kids are happy and learning, then it’s completely worth it. So, we make rain storms in bottles and water splashes on our floor that has to be mopped up. We make dinosaur tracks and toy car tracks through colored salt dough, that dries up into tiny little specks that have to be vacuumed. We liberally sprinkle glitter and feathers over art projects covered in glue. My preschool-aged children adore learning, and are starting to get to the point where they are asking endless questions about the world around them. I don’t mind cleaning up after my children’s science projects. I do, however, mind cleaning up after the woodpecker on the house.
We were straightening up the front room, getting ready for a playgroup, when I spotted the woodpecker on our tree in the front yard. It was beautiful, with spots on its chest and a red crest. I couldn’t believe my luck, since I had just taught the children about woodpeckers two days earlier. I excitedly called them over to the window, and we spent fifteen minutes watching the woodpecker listen for bugs in the tree, then confidently tapping away and grabbing the bugs up in its beak. The front room didn’t get straightened up to my usual standards before the playgroup showed up, but it was worth the chance to watch nature.
Then, when we all went outside to play, I was chatting with one of the other mothers and noticed small black specks on the side of my house, up by one of the second story windows. Coming down from the black specks were streaks of brown and reddish black. The woman I was talking with told me they had the same thing. “You have a woodpecker on your house.” Now, I was all excited to see the woodpecker in our tree this morning, but thinking of it pecking small holes into the side of my home, and bird feces staining the side of the house, really annoyed me. Just an hour before, I had thought of the woodpecker as a stately and interesting bird, and shared my love of nature with my children. Now that I know that woodpecker was on the house, possibly we even had a woodpecker in the house, it became a nuisance that must be taken care of.
Unfortunately, I also knew that most woodpeckers are protected. I couldn’t just pull out the bee bee gun. If only it had been content in my tree, I would have been just fine. But, a woodpecker on my house is an entirely different matter. Time to call Allstate Animal Control, since they get rid of birds, too. Science lessons are great, but not when they’re destroying my home.