Although the weather hasn’t been exactly Spring-like, save for 3 recent days which have since given way to more cold rain, there are reminders that technically it is Spring.

A disturbing sign of Spring.

Nearly every morning for the past week or so I’ve been awakened by the familiar, disturbing sounds of woodpeckers beating their peckers on the house. Sometimes they pound away on the gutters, which is annoying. Other times they engage in a more troubling practice of using the house itself as a percussion surface. This is not good. They are causing property destruction.

Red-Naped Sapsucker, alive.

There are two species of culprits in question. I’m no ornithologist but I believe the Red-Naped Sapsucker to be the less frequent offenders. They’re also more easily deterred–all I need to do is shoo them away and they don’t return for sometimes days. Last year I discovered one of these dead peckers on our roof. It was sad, and I wept.

Red-Naped Sapsucker, not alive.

As I mentioned, the little red-headed sapsucking peckers are easy to intimidate. I only wish I could strike that sort of fear into the  Northern Flickers, which are the serial offenders. These larger, more annoying birds seem to revel in taunting me. If I so much as open the door to step outside, these birds are always one step ahead of me. Before I can level the scope of the pellet gun, the flickers are alreadly flying off at great speeds. They’re crafty little peckers, too. They seem to know the effective range of the pellet gun and perch well beyond that distance.

Norther Flucker, er, Flicker.

I’ve contemplated the skittish nature of the Flickers and have determined that either we can keep going round and round with this never-ending dance as we have for years, or I can step up my game. The pellet gun is ineffective, that much has been proven. What I need is more firepower and more coverage. It may be time to bring out my favorite shotgun and a box of #6 dove load that’s just been collecting dust for years.

Mr. Flicker, meet Signore Beretta.

There may not be much left of the feathers if my shot is not unaccomplished, but let’s assume, hypothetically, that the damage is minimal and there are ample feathers leftover:

What would you tie with the feathers, and what would you all the new pattern?