Birds invade Chamber

A woodpecker has taken up residence at the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce and worn out his welcome.

At first the chamber welcomed the bird, said Jill Johnson, chamber of commerce executive director, who referred to the bird as “a gift” and told curious visitors that the drumming sounds came from their resident woodpecker.

“We could hear him pecking around,” she said.

Over several months the bird that once seemed like a “quirky and fun” office mate pecked his way through a section of wooden lining, into the roof and established a home in the building’s insulation. Now other birds have discovered his plush Oak Harbor penthouse and the chamber’s bird population is growing.

Now the novelty is gone, the charm lost and the birds must go, Johnson said.

“It’s not funny anymore,” she said. “We’re evicting him.”

In an email to its members earlier this week, the chamber asked for advice on how to gently encourage the bird to find a new home.

“We’ve had a lot of offers,” Johnson said, “but they all involved slingshots, guns and target practice. We’ve vetoed all of those.”

In the meantime, Johnson contacted Surety Pest Control for advice, but the responding team could not locate the offending bird, said Surety employee Chris Gomes.

“We did not see a woodpecker, but the damage indicated that something is up there,” he said.

Aside from pecking through the roof lining, the bird has pulled out tufts of the fluffy, yellow insulation.

Gomes observed starlings and crows, which may have taken up residence in the roof-line burrow. Nesting issues are easily taken care of by closing off the opening with wire mesh, he said.

In the building’s 12-year existence, birds have never been an issue, Johnson said, adding that she hopes the chamber’s feathered foe will settle on a more natural home in one of the many trees nearby.

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