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Woodpecker chatting with mate or defending territory

We have a woodpecker pecking at our aluminum roof vents continually. What would cause such behavior?

— Gary P., Talent

This particular woodpecker is either communicating with its mate or is defending its territory, explained local bird expert Laura Fleming, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in Medford.

This particular behavior is called “drumming” and is very typical of woodpeckers in the spring or “nesting season,” she said.

They like things that reverberate and make noise, which in your case, Gary, is the aluminum roof vents.

Fleming suggested putting some kind of damper under the vents so the bird looks for another, more-percussive instrument — far away from your house — or using scare tactics, such as a Birds-Away Attack Spider. The battery-operated spider, sold in Fleming's shop and available online,  is activated by sound, makes a noise and "chases" the woodpeckers away.

Gary, this spider may just be your new best friend.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.