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Old February 28, 2005, 12:07 PM   #1
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Need to eliminate a pesky bird

There's this pesky bird (woodpecker) that comes to peck my roof every day; I have to spend $150 almost every month to fix and/or prevent this bird from coming back.

I need to make this bird go away.

The only rifle I have is a scoped savage .17HMR. I'm worried that if I miss the round will go real far and possibly hit something/someone. Seems like a .22 rifle with birdshot would be ideal. Range to target is around 30 feet.

Any recommendations?
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Old February 28, 2005, 12:10 PM   #2
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My friend in Ohio said he used to get pigeons off the church roof with .22 short CB rounds. they would get the bird but not ding up the shingles too bad.
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Old February 28, 2005, 12:14 PM   #3
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Yes, I'd use:

-a good pellet gun, or
-.22 lr rifle with colibri ammo
-.22 lr rifle with birdshot (this requires getting close, but you said 30 feet - that would probably work, but that's getting up to near the limit of effectiveness of .22 birdshot, IINM - well, that depends on the type - there's 22 short birdshot, and then there's the CCI .22 lr birdshot - I'd choose the latter).
-.22 lr rifle with subsonic ammo, such as aguila or CCI "CB" ammo, or
-a .22 WMR rifle with birdshot rounds.
-a 9mm or .45 pistol with that birdshot ammo from CCI.

Good excuse to add another gun to your collection - you obviously *need* it. And heck, *every* gun owner should have a .22lr rifle, and if you foresee future problems such as this, you definitely need a good pellet rifle.

In any event, be sure of your target and what is behind it. Shoot at an upward angle so that if you miss the bullet goes up and not straight into something which you don't intend to hit.

Didn't someone (Marlin?) make a "Garden Gun" for a few years - I want to say it was a .22 mag with a smoothbore, specifically for things like this. That'd be a good choice with birdshot.
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Old February 28, 2005, 12:17 PM   #4
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Get your self a .22 caliber pellet rifle. When I was a kid living in the country, I did alot of damage to the pesky bird and rodent population in that area... . The rifle is very accurate, inexpensive and powerful. Also it is very quiet...If you have close neighbors they will never know.

One last thing, Make sure the woodpecker is not your STATE BIRD.
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Old February 28, 2005, 12:20 PM   #5
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.22LR Dust Shot will do the job easily. CCI sells 20 round boxes. Does little or no damage to the roof.

[disclaimer]Of course I would never advocate breaking the law. Woody is a protected species, be careful. In some states you need special permits to shoot non pest species. Check with the state agency that sells hunting licenses.[/disclaimer]
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Old February 28, 2005, 01:17 PM   #6
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.22 rifle with CB caps.
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Old February 28, 2005, 01:26 PM   #7
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No remarks about the .17HMR yet?
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Old February 28, 2005, 01:35 PM   #8
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Depending on the state that you are in, and whether or not the local city ordinances would apply, I would be real careful about shooting a bird. After all its not life threatening at this point.

The best bet might be to call animal control and tell them about the bird.

But if you must take it out (safety 1st...) @ 30 feet? .22 LR Remington Nylon 66, zero recoil, one shot one kill.
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Old February 28, 2005, 02:13 PM   #9
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I agree

I would call the human society. If it is a redheaded woodpecker, I would definitely not shoot it and talk about it here or anywhere else. The humane society may have a trap to help you catch the bird and relocate it. In most situations you can kill a pest that is causing damage to your house or crops if you live outside the city limits, but if you live in the city, this is a violation of city ordinance in most places.

If you can shoot the bird legally, I would use CCI rat shot from a 22lr. We use to shoot crows out of the barn using a Ruger 22 pistol and rat shot. It should work for a smaller bird even better. I would definitely not want to shoot it using the 17HMR if it is anywhere close to your roof or inline with someone else's house.
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Old February 28, 2005, 02:14 PM   #10
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NASA has the same problems, woodpeckers drilling holes in the insulation on the main tanks used on the space shuttle. Never did find out what they use to take care of it.

Get a bb gun, or try setting out a suet feeder, that's what my parents use, the birds will go for the easier meal. They have 4-6 birds coming by regularly with no damage to the house.
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Old February 28, 2005, 02:53 PM   #11
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A friend of mine uses a pellet gun to solve his woodpecker problems.

He's also got some rubber "snakes" that he lays on his roof and other objects he doesn't want critters messing with. Not sure if the snake would keep the woodpecker away, or if your roof has too great of an angle to keep the snake in place. But might be worth a consideration.
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Old February 28, 2005, 03:07 PM   #12
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Drill several small holes in the area where he pecks and install some 209 primers. I guarantee he won't be back.

Seriously though, I "tickled" many a woodpecker as a kid with my Daisy Red Ryder. I would not advocate anything more than a pellet or BB for safety reasons, or maybe some .22 loaded with birdshot.
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Old February 28, 2005, 03:09 PM   #13
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I call them roof gophers. Chicken or bird feed mixed with golgher bait works pretty well on them.
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Old February 28, 2005, 07:50 PM   #14
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Forget .22 birdshot at 30 ft.

Effective range is measured in inches.....Had pidgeons in my barn...Tried the birdshot several times (luckily someone gave me some)at ranges from 20-35 ft...Just scared 'em, made 'em [email protected] even more...Settled on .22 hollowpoints...I just make sure I don't miss...Even these don't always result in a pidgeon DRT...Had one fly, (and then flop)for over a minute, after I centerpunched it through the chest....Tough little buggers..
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Old February 28, 2005, 08:05 PM   #15
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I think the 17 hmr to be a fine woodpecker gun, I would shoot the s.o.b. several times for good measure,if you miss and put a .17 caliber hole in your roof a dab of rtv will run about 1.5 cents as apposed to $150 a month and I wouldn't give a damn who didn't like it!!!!!!!
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Old February 28, 2005, 09:13 PM   #16
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id have to agree with the other guys that you really need to check laws about shooting woodpeckers. maybe try a feeder. if its legal to shoot him buy a pellet gun. .22 bird shot doesnt work on anything larger than sparrows over 10 yards. i love it for shooting sparrows in the shop its cool stuff but not for large targets.
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Old February 28, 2005, 09:15 PM   #17
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So enlighten me.

What is it eating? You got bugs in your wood?
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Old February 28, 2005, 09:27 PM   #18
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get a good pellet gun and bring that sucker down.
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Old February 28, 2005, 09:42 PM   #19
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You could put a plastic owl up - might solve the problem very easily.
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Old February 28, 2005, 10:38 PM   #20
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If you're in the States, it's illegal to kill it.

Also, I'd want to know what the woodpecker is finding in the roof to eat--they eat insects, so if he's interested in your roof, it's a good bet you've got some kind of infestation up there.

I'm not telling you not to kill it, I'm just letting you know the situation.
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Old February 28, 2005, 11:22 PM   #21
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To define territory woodpeckers will also drum on a good sounding board.

hang streamers from the eaves
if that doesnt frighten him away,
hang a rat trap

shooting a 1 mile range round, up at an angle is a recipe for disaster
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Old February 28, 2005, 11:53 PM   #22
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Liquid cat nip or buck lure. Mix it in a spray cannister and spray the area of the roof the bird pecks on. When he smells the scent, he/she will not return.
Household ammonia will work as well. Use the ammonia full strenght.
Good luck.
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Old March 1, 2005, 12:26 AM   #23
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Never kill anything you wont eat. Think I saw a woodpecker recipe on foodtv.
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Old March 1, 2005, 07:57 PM   #24
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Woodpecker is not bad. Not as tasty as Parrot or as slimy as lizard, but all in all it is not bad stuff. Trying out new and different foods is one of the little side benefits I get to enjoy working in the 3rd world exploring for oil (note the sarcasm there). But actually, when you are 5 weeks into 9 week hitch and you have lost 25 lbs because of the poor quality eats and hard work, Parrot starts to look pretty tasty....
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Old March 1, 2005, 08:07 PM   #25
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Buy a cat and "accidently" let it loose on the roof when the Pecker, errr, Woody, errrr, well, the bird, sheesh, comes back.
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