By Sara Jentsch

Sara Jentsch is a German law student with a passion for writing, art, and nature. She also has a growing interest in birds, although she considers herself a newcomer to the field. Balancing her studies with creative pursuits, Sara finds inspiration in the outdoors and expresses her ideas through writing. She is committed to learning and creativity in all aspects of her life.

One random morning in April (or was it May?) a couple of years ago, I was jolted awake by a loud noise that sounded like someone was either hanging up a picture or knocking on wood outside. Since I always sleep with at least one window tilted open, no matter the weather or temperature, the noise was incredibly loud. Glancing at my phone, I saw it was exactly 5 am. This was strange, considering there’s a German noise law that forbids any loud sounds, especially knocking or construction sounds, before 7 a.m.

Curious and a bit annoyed, I got up to look out the window. There was no one outside, not a single light on. Figuring it was best to shut the window, I did so, and the knocking immediately stopped. To make sure, I opened the window again, and it was suddenly very quiet.

I forgot about this weird incident until exactly 5 am the next morning when the loud knocking happened again. Once more, I didn’t see a single soul outside, no lights, and again, the knocking stopped as soon as I closed the window.

After this happened for a week straight, I started questioning my sanity. Thankfully, my best friend decided to sleep over after I told her about this strange occurrence. She was the one who figured out that the knocking noise came from a woodpecker trying to build a home in our facade. It was probably a great spotted woodpecker, which is very common in Germany.

We would bang the window against the frame to get the bird to leave, only to discover there were actually two woodpeckers, hence the intensity of the knocking sound.

My dad attempted a daring maneuver to climb up to the hole and see what was going on. He eventually fixed the little hole, and the woodpeckers didn’t return for about another week. Eventually, the knocking started again, this time during midday. The woodpecker was very determined to finish the hole (and I suspect this determination had something to do with Mrs. Woodpecker, who sat impatiently in a nearby tree, staring).

My dad and I researched various ways to get rid of the ambitious couple. First, we tried fixing the hole multiple times. Then, we placed a raven decoy on my window sill. This seemed to work for a while, but eventually, the woodpecker realized the bird wasn’t real and got back to work.

We sprayed a ton of chemicals on the spot to make it smell disgusting, hoping the bird would be repelled by the stench, but that didn’t work either.

What finally helped after weeks of frustration was a shiny CD that we hung under our roof. It glittered and dangled in the wind, making sounds that actually scared the birds away for good.

And that’s how a couple of persistent woodpeckers almost drove me crazy but ended up giving me a tale to tell.

Written by a Guest
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