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Do Nuthatches Peck on Houses?

Do Nuthatches Peck on Houses?

Many birds have been observed pecking on houses and windows. So, it’s not unusual for people living in areas with a high avian density. However, if you have recently moved to a locality where nuthatches are common, you may wonder whether they peck on houses or not. Let’s find out in the following article! 

Do nuthatches peck on houses?

If you feel a bird pecking on your home, it’s not always woodpeckers. Often, nuthatches peck home for multiple reasons. 

Nuthatches peck on houses particularly on the wooden material in the houses. They can drill holes into your wooden exterior while pecking your home. The pecking activity among nuthatches might increase during breeding when a pair looks for cavities to build a nest.

Tiny nuthatches, which also have chisel-like bills, are exceptional wood carvers.

You can observe high pecking behavior during March, when nuthatches look for comfortable nesting sites. You can observe the activity to continue till May, when nuthatches start settling in their nests. 

Also, if your locality has lesser trees or trees with no natural or woodpecker cavities, you can find them pecking your home to excavate a cavity required to roost at night and during winters. As you may have guessed, their pecking activities can increase right before winter when they seek shelter to roost at night and survive the severe weather. 

You already know that nuthatches peck on houses. Moving on, let’s understand why they peck on houses. 

Why do nuthatches peck on houses?

Nuthatches use their sharp beak to peck on your home. Do you know? These tiny birds have many reasons to peck on your house. If nuthatches are pecking your home, here are some reasons behind such behavior. Have a look!

1. Finding food

Your home is a perfect dwelling place for insects and bugs. They hide inside the crevices of your walls and damage the surface of your home. Nuthatches have identified the residing locations of their favorite insect meals. So, they might peck on houses to excavate the hidden insects and bugs to enjoy a meal. 

A nuthatch pecking your home can be an indication of an underlying massive pest infestation. Thus, you should never overlook their pecking warning.

2. Attracting a mate

Apart from finding food, a nuthatch can peck your home for other reasons. If you closely observe, their pecking activity increases between March and June. It’s the peak breeding time for nuthatches. So, they might peck on your home during the breeding season to attract mates.

A male nuthatch making a loud pecking noise on your home is a show for the female nuthatches. It’s a way to showcase that they are the most dominant males in the region and prepare the females for mating.

3. Territory establishment

The tiny nuthatch birds might appear cute but walk miles to express their hold of a specific region and females residing in their locality. During breeding and nesting phases, nuthatches can become aggressive and territorial. They can peck on your home and make loud noises to establish their dominance in a region.

In addition to pecking, Nuthatches are often involved in bill sweeping while preparing their nests and cavities.

4. Looking for a roosting place

Nuthatches stay active during the day but need resting places at night. Mostly, nuthatches roost in natural tree cavities, empty nests, and abandoned woodpecker holes. However, if such roosting places are absent, they might search for alternative places, especially in homes.

So, they peck on homes and excavate roosting holes on your walls, especially before winters when they prepare for harsh winters. Also, they can peck on the wooden features of your home and prepare roosting cavities for themselves.

5. Finding nesting sites

During and right after the breeding season, nuthatches will start seeking nesting sites. It’s a common activity for female nuthatches. Although they prefer settling in natural tree cavities during nesting, they might pick your home as the ideal place for building nests.

They can peck on your home and excavate cavities resembling natural tree holes. Furthermore, a nuthatch pair can settle in cavities they created on your walls and lay their eggs. It’s more prominent in places where trees with cavities are less abundant.

6. Storing food

Nuthatches don’t eat everything at once. They are food cachers. Nuthatches store food in various places to eat later, especially before winters when food is scarce but energy requirement is high.

Although nuthatches use loose tree bark to store their food with snow, lichens, and mosses, they can choose your home to cache their seeds. So, they will peck on your home and drill a hole in the wooden features. Finally, they will use the cavity to store food and eat it whenever required.

7. Scare their rival

Male nuthatches can do whatever it takes to scare off rivals from their territory, especially during the breeding season. They do so to protect the females in their territory and claim their authority over them. So, when an intruder male nuthatch enters their territory, they use various techniques to scare them away.

For example, they might start pecking on your home and make loud noises to scare the other nuthatch away from their females.

How do you stop nuthatches from pecking on houses?

Although nuthatch pecking has scientific reasons, you might want to stop them if its pecking damages your home. Here are some harmless techniques to prevent nuthatches from pecking your home. Have a look!

  • You can use a net to cover your sidings and wooden features. The taut netting will prevent nuthatches from pecking on houses.
  • You can use fake owls, hawks, and falcon toys to scare nuthatches away from your home.
  • Offer them bird feeders and suet feeders to satiate their hunger.
  • Give them roost boxes to enable them to take shelter if trees with cavities are absent in your locality.
  • Inspect the underlying pest infestation in your home. It’s better to remove insects from the walls and sidings to prevent nuthatches from pecking at your home.
  • Use moving elements like wind chimes, flags, and spinners to scare the birds from your home.


Nuthatches are small but strong birds. They can easily drill holes in your home due to the above reasons. However, you can take these measures to keep them away from your home without hurting the little creatures.