Thursday, August 18, 2011


This morning as I was getting ready to run some errands, I went into the garage and heard a whooshing noise. I looked up and saw a crazed bird flying around the garage at the ceiling level. The garage door had been open for several hours, so it must have flown in and didn't know how to get out.

After several frantic circles, the bird landed on top of the ladder we have hanging on the side. Even from the other side of the garage I was able to get a good look at it. It was mainly black, but had a white strip down it's back and white spots on the wings. I was looking at a woodpecker!

Downy Woodpecker
Peter de Wit--Wikepedia

I didn't see a red patch on the bird's head, so I'm pretty sure it was a female.

It's not the first time we've had a bird stuck in the garage. When I'm home during the day I usually have the garage door open, so we go through this once or twice a year. I know that after a while the bird will eventually find the door and fly away.

However, I still don't like to deal with it. Keeping one eye on the bird (in case she decided to fly at me), I opened the back garage door all the way and put a bag of topsoil in front of it so it wouldn't close. I got in my car, backed it out of the garage, the closed the garage door with the remote and left. I was gone for three hours, and I was hopeful Ms Bird would find her way out through the back door while I was gone.

It didn't happen. When I came home I opened the garage door, and was greeted by my friend the bird flying more circles around the garage. Quickly, I gathered my packages and went inside. My plan was to cut the grass this afternoon, but the lawn mower was in the garage and I didn't want to upset the bird any more than I already had. After 20 minutes, I peeked out into the garage and didn't see anything. Just in case the bird showed up, though, I double-timed it to the lawn mower, gassed it up, and pulled the mower out on the driveway. Since I didn't see the bird the whole time, I assumed she'd found her way out.

After I finished the lawn I put the mower away and started to go inside. Halfway to the door, I heard a rustling noise. I looked up and there was the bird, flying the same crazy circles. There are a couple of places where the ceiling drywall has come down, leaving the eaves exposed. The bird must have been up there. Either that, or she'd left and decided she liked the garage and came back.

That was hours ago, Ever since then I've been opening the door to check occasionally, and she's still there. When Tony got home he didn't see anything, and I was optimistic she was gone. However, after dinner I stepped out in the garage and heard the sound of frantically beating wings. She's NOT gone.

Maybe when it gets dark?


  1. Perhaps if you leave the door open and turn on a light outside it will fly toward the light?

    I have read that woodpeckers go after insects, so if you hear it pecking in the garage, you might have your garage checked for termites or ants?

  2. The birds seem disoriented to me lately. I have one pecking on a bird house that's too small for this woodpecker. I'm able to walk right on up to it...very people friendly. I think that's strange for a woodpecker.
    I looked it up in my animal totem book, and it's message is that i should be preparing for difficult times ahead. Got that right....
    They're beautiful birds though, and i surely hope yours is able to find its way out of the garage. We're seeing night hawks migrating here right now, and they're so pretty. I wait for the cedar waxwings to come pick the fruit off the crabapples. I've been seeing quite a few posts on birds today...wonder what's up that that? Glad the birds are still here to entertain's beginning to feel like fall. Good luck with your woodpecker.

  3. I just hope he doesn't try to peck his way out! Once I had squirrels stuck in the garage and they tried to tear at the windows...even though I had the garage door open, they couldn't seem to see past the window. I think eventually they made their way out.

  4. I hope the bird gets out alright, poor thing. Silly bird.. keep us posted k?

  5. Oh dear! That's awful... The biggest surprise we had in our garage was a baby opossum. I sure hope your bird finds a way to leave you in peace.