If you haven’t been following my daily columns about Walnut Creek’s Rossmoor Retirement Community vs. the acorn woodpeckers, you can catch yourself up here on my Friday (Nov. 14) and Sunday (Nov. 16) columns: http://www.contracostatimes.com/garybogue
Basically, a family of acorn woodpeckers have been pecking holes in the upper reaches of a couple of the retirement community’s resident buildings. Rossmoor has obtained a depredation permit from the feds which allows them to shoot 50 acorn woodpeckers.
This, of course, may resolve the problem in the short-term, but long-term, it will start all over again next spring when a new family of woodpeckers moves in.
The end result will be who-knows-how-many acorn woodpeckers get killed over the next who-knows-how-many years? Also, what is the impact to the local ecosystem when you wipe out 50 acorn woodpeckers, a cornerstone species? (Cornerstone species means the holes it drills in trees provide housing, habitat and food for a large number of species of wildlife in the oak woodland areas around Mount Diablo and beyond.)
As you can see from my columns, I have suggested a number of what I consider to be better solutions that don’t need the woodpeckers to be killed. My many readers have also responded with some excellent solutions.
Do you have any suggestions? You can add them under comments below. There’s got to be a better way! Let’s have a round of applause for Kat Mulkey of Lafayette, Calif., who e-mailed me the beautiful piece of art above of an “Acorn Woodpecker S.O.S.” Thanks Kat! /Gary