The Bay Area news outlets are reporting a story about the ongoing feud between Rossmoor residents and the Acorn Woodpeckers claimed to be the source of much outrage to that community.
Rossmoor is a retirement community inhabited by fairly well to do retired folks in Walnut Creek, CA. The news stories make Rossmoor's residents out to be as intolerant of nature as John Rambo was of bad sheriffs. The feud began when acorn woodpeckers began using the wood roof overhang on many homes as places to peck, drill and store acorns for later. According to residents, the "noise" is unbearable, and the damage unthinkable. So after trying several homemade remedies to the woodpecker plague, they recently took on the woodpeckers with, literally, guns a - blazin'.
Rossmoor homeowner groups petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a permit to exterminate 50 Acorn Woodpeckers. Now, this wasn't going to be done in some humane fashion, nor would they be trapped and moved - the residents chose to bring in a hired gun and shoot the woodpeckers, hoping to send a message that avian nonsense just wouldn't be tolerated in their sterile world. No, sir - the little guys will be blasted off the face of the earth.
On its face, this seems a little dangerous. These are not large birds - what manner of weapon will be used? Imagine sitting comfortably in your Rossmoor living room, watching the latest DVD releases of "The Lawrence Welk Show." ZING! The "sharpshooter's" aim is a touch off, and there goes that spiffy Thomas Kincade hanging over the mantle, now riddled with holes.
I have some questions for the homeowner's groups. You got a permit to take out 50 of these birds. Do you realize what will happen after those birds meet their maker? They'll be replaced by more of the same. Take that to the bank. You see, birds don't think like you and me. They are fairly dumb animals - they eat, drink water, and procreate. That is their lot in life. There's not a lot of logic, like "Oh, darn, there goes Woody with a hole in his little feathered backside. I better pack up and leave town lest I be next." No, that just won't happen. More birds will take their places. How many sharpshooters will be needed to completely eradicate this nuisance to the refined bullies of Rossmoor?
Oh, there's that noise, too. Now I don't know about you, but I take great pleasure on my hikes seeking woodpeckers out. I can watch and listen to them for hours and not be prompted to run away, hands over ears screaming "MAKE THEM STOP!" Apparently, Rossmoor's citizens cannot tolerate any sound other than that produced by their gardener's lawn mowers or leaf blowers. Maybe we could pipe in a soundtrack of rushing traffic on Highway 680 at rush hour. Perhaps the mechanized sounds of bulging population centers will be of comfort.
Rossmoor is not a poverty stricken, hovel - laden community. It's residents could place steel flashing over the roof siding where the woodpeckers make their homes. Heaven help the Red Tailed Hawk that dares to scream while flying over this community - watch out, guys, they have SHARPSHOOTERS down there! Make noise, they'll take you out - and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be hand in hand with them.
Please call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and let them know of your feelings abo9ut this mistake their administrators made. Call them at 916 414 - 6464 and let them know you want permit # MB164975 - 1 revoked. We need more bullets flying around our communities like we need more state Assemblymembers. There are solutions. Rossmoor's residents are choosing the wrong path to accomplish a misguided goal.