Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rossmoor: Woodpeckers Must Die

By Chris Thompson
Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 9:50 AM

You may recall that over in the massive retirement community of Rossmoor, a pesky band of woodpeckers has taken to drilling countless holes in the pre-fab houses along the sylvan glens. Rossmoor residents tried every non-lethal approach they could think of to drive the birds away, including robot spiders and a P.A. system blasting sounds of woodpeckers being horribly devoured by predatory birds. When none of that worked, community leaders got a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to go on a woodpecker killing spree. The story drew anguished cries from the Audubon Society and the Humane Society, which has begged the Rossmoor housing associations not to kill the little feathered things. The Audubon Society even offered to bring up UC Berkeley woodpecker specialist Erin Walters to advise them, and build an artificial tree to lure the woodpeckers away from the homes. Nothing doing, says Rossmoor. According to the CoCo Times, they've rejected all these pleas and moving ahead with their plans to (and we're not kidding about this part) have a rifleman stalk the birds through the retirement campus, shooting woodpeckers everywhere he treads. So if you're teeing up on the seventh hole, and you hear a little pop, and something in your peripheral vision bursts in cloud of scarlet and feathers, you know what it is. Go ahead and swing away.

You may recall that over in the massive retirement community of Rossmoor, a pesky band of woodpeckers has taken to drilling countless holes in the pre-fab houses along the sylvan glens. Rossmoor residents tried every non-lethal approach they could think of to drive the birds away, including robot spiders and a P.A. system blasting sounds of woodpeckers being horribly devoured by predatory birds. When none of that worked, community leaders got a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to go on a woodpecker killing spree. The story drew anguished cries from the Audubon Society and the Humane Society, which has begged the Rossmoor housing associations not to kill the little feathered things. The Audubon Society even offered to bring up UC Berkeley woodpecker specialist Erin Walters to advise them, and build an artificial tree to lure the woodpeckers away from the homes. Nothing doing, says Rossmoor. CoCo Times, they've rejected all these pleas and moving ahead with their plans to (and we're not kidding about this part) have a rifleman stalk the birds through the retirement campus, shooting woodpeckers everywhere he treads. So if you're teeing up on the seventh hole, and you hear a little pop, and something in your peripheral vision bursts in cloud of scarlet and feathers, you know what it is. Go ahead and swing away.

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