We love our birds but sometimes they are a bit too much. They can get messy when they poop on our sidewalks, roof, golf course, boat, or car. They can build nests in the most inconvenient of places like on our windowsill, porch, or potted plant. They can damage crops, endanger airplanes, and peck on our wood siding. They also carry diseases although, with the exception of the bird flu and West Nile Virus, it’s not a serious issue.
So what do we do? First, realize that in North America, virtually all birds, except the imported House Sparrow, European Starling, and Rock Pigeon, are protected by federal law, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. So if woodpeckers are damaging your house, you cannot simply shoot or poison them, or even try to scare them away by throwing rocks, as that might injure them.