If you think this doesn't sound like a real problem, you clearly haven't heard the sound of a woodpecker pecking away at your home. This week, my family got to endure the experience and it made sleeping through the alarm, impossible.

Let's start by saying in Upstate New York, we'VE heard the sound of a woodpecker boring into a tree. That wouldn't be a new sound...but this was so very different.

We have a gas fireplace and a metal stove pipe that goes up through our old brick chimney and the pipe is exposed at the top. That metal stovepipe was what the woodpecker was banging on all morning long on Thursday.

It sounded like a machine gun going off, or the sound your mechanic makes when they're tightening the lug nuts on your vehicle tires.

At first, we had no idea what it was. Eventually, outside we figured out what was causing the sound as we were literally able to see the fowl pecking away at the metal pipe.

So why is this beautiful annoying bird pecking away at the metal on our house causing this horribly loud noise? It turns out, this female woodpecker is looking for a mate and the reverberating sound is amplified on the metal, allowing potential partners from much further away to hear.

I'll spare you all of the junior high jokes people were peppering me with today. I will tell you that we were warned that these birds are federally protected and it is highly illegal to harm the woodpecker.

So how does one rid their home of this annoying mating ritual that's keeping us awake in the wee hours of the morning?

One suggestion was to light the gas fireplace. We did it, and the bird kept pecking. She wasn't bothered at all that the pipe was heating up and gas fumes wee coming out the top.

We were given tips like placing a fake owl on top of the house. Woodpeckers are afraid of owls, it seems. Supposedly, fake eagles and hawks work too. Another option was a flag that blows in the wind, or putting aluminum foil all around the target area, but I'm not sue how that would work because it's almost the same color as the stove pipe.

There was the suggestion of a BB gun - but that would most likely end in an arrest.

When it was all said and done, the problem corrected itself. The bird flew off. I'm hoping she found a mate, otherwise I was told, she'll probably be back tomorrow.

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