Photo by Greg Hume, from Wikimedia Commons
This is a northern flicker. They are related to woodpeckers and as such, they really like to jackhammer away at various things: trees (to get the insects inside), telephone poles (because they think they’re trees), and the roofs and metal vents on top of houses (because…who knows?).
A few times lately when I’ve been at home alone, I’ve been startled by a hammering noise coming from somewhere in the house. The first time it happened, I was rather alarmed and started searching for the source of the noise. Was someone knocking at the door? No. Was one of the pets getting into mischief? No. Had someone climbed up on top of our house to hammer on it?
Well, yes, but not a person, a bird. I’d forgotten that flickers have this annoying habit. But now I am used to it, and when I hear it, I notice it, but then I think, oh yeah, it’s just a flicker, and go back to whatever it was I was doing.