Why Do Birds Peck at Your House?

by Derrick | Last Updated: July 6, 2021

If you live in a heavily wooded area, you might notice that birds have taken to pecking at your house. The most common bird to peck at your home is a woodpecker. Why do birds peck at your house?

Birds peck at your house because they are either searching for food, attracting a mate, or establishing their territory. Smaller birds use the holes left by woodpeckers to make their nests, or they will peck your home themselves. You can deter them by using mesh or a flashy decoy.

Let’s take a closer look at why birds peck at your house.

They’re Looking for Food

One of the most common reasons why birds peck at your house is because they are searching for food. Woodpeckers and other small pecking birds love insects, especially the kind that live in or on the siding of your home. While this doesn’t mean you have an insect problem, it does mean that these birds are hunting.

You don’t want to ignore the problem, of course. If you hear a bird pecking at your house, take a look at the area. If they are searching for insects inside the siding, the holes will be irregular and small in size. Is this the only reason for these types of holes? Not at all. However, it’s an excellent place to start. 

Call an exterminator when you begin to suspect a bird is searching your siding for bugs, as they will be able to determine if that is the reason. They’ll also be able to remove the bugs and, hopefully, put an end to your bird problem.

On the opposite side, woodpeckers will hide food in wood by pecking small holes into the wood. It’s possible the birds pecking at your home are finding safe places to hide their stash of goodies.

Birds Peck During Mating Season To Communicate With Others

When they peck at your house, the sound birds make is used to attract mates and communicate with others. It’s typically a show for the female birds and a way to threaten other males away from their prospective females. The theory is that the male who makes the most noise will get the female of their choice.

Once breeding has started, however, the pecking will stop at least until the nesting begins. Birds will peck as a way of building their nests and will peck large holes into the side of your home to build a nest. 

Birds Might Believe Your House Is Their House

In addition to mating season, males will peck at your house as a way to show other birds in the area that your home is their territory and to keep other birds away from their nests.

The loud, rapid-fire drumming the birds make against the side of your home also signals to females that the males are ready to mate, and it gives the males a sense of dominance. Territorial behavior like this is found most specifically with the males. The pounding and drumming you hear from the females are mainly from their search for food. 

Why Do Birds Peck at House Windows?

Birds that peck at your house windows have a couple of different motives, but no one can be certain why they do it. Many believe it’s a territorial thing. Windows are shiny and reflect their image back to them. It’s believed that male birds will see themselves in the reflection but mistake it for another male and attack, which is typically observed during breeding seasons.

Others believe birds that peck at windows are looking for insects and bugs that are usually found in window frames, such as spiders and ants. If they aren’t looking for bugs, it’s possible they picked up the smell of fish oil or linseed that can be used in some putties. 

Why Are Birds Pecking at My Roof?

Your roof is an excellent spot for birds. They’ll use your roof to rest, but they’ll also peck at it for the same reasons they peck at your siding. More specifically, they’re likely looking for bugs that may be hiding under the shingles.

In addition to searching for bugs, they can peck at and remove pieces of shingles to use in their nests. You’ll want to make sure you remove the birds and check for any damage. 

They might also peck at your roof because they are bored.

Tips To Stop Birds From Pecking Your House

When birds start pecking, it can be frustrating. However, there are several ways to keep the birds off your house. Below are just a few of the options you could try.

Use a Scarecrow and Other Flashy Decoys

Use a scarecrow or other flashy decoys that will scare the birds away. Vivid colors frighten the birds, and if you get a decoy that looks like a predator, the birds should go away soon. The decoy will make your home less appealing to the birds because they believe it’s too dangerous.

Fix Any Standing Water

Sometimes birds are just looking for water, and if you have standing water on your roof, they will stop there to either drink it or bathe in it, which can lead to them pecking at your roof for bugs if they don’t immediately leave after getting into the water. It’s also essential to remove any standing water because it can lead to water damage.

Clean Out the Gutters

Birds will look just about anywhere for things to build their nests with, including your gutters. Routinely cleaning them out will prevent birds from searching for building materials there. 

Sometimes birds will build their nests in the gutters. While this doesn’t mean they will peck at the house, it’s a good idea to keep your gutters clear to avoid birds from gathering on your roof.

Remove Any Trees Located Close to Your House

When you have trees located close to your house, the birds see your home as a secondary source of food. They may not build their nests on your house, but they may use pieces of shingle or siding to build their nests, which will cause them to peck at your home. 

It’s best to try and remove any close trees. It can sometimes be expensive to do, depending on the number of trees surrounding your home. However, it’s something you may want to consider if you have a lot of trees nearby.

Use Decals on Windows

If you have birds pecking or flying at your windows, it could be that they see their reflection on the glass. One of the easiest ways to keep them from doing this would be to place decals on the window, which can break up the reflection and make it less likely for birds to fly into it.

You can also use strips of paper to break up the window. Make sure the gaps are narrow, and you place them in an irregular pattern, as it changes the reflective surface, so the birds are less likely to see images of themselves.

Set Up a Fake Woodpecker Sound

If you set up a fake woodpecker sound, it should deter other male woodpeckers from your house, which is helpful during mating and breeding season when the males are particularly noisy to attract a mate. The fake woodpecker sound will signal to other males that your house has already been claimed.


Birds pecking at your house can feel like an assault at times, but knowing why they do it can help ease your frustrations. Sometimes it’s just a matter of territory or mating, but there are simple ways to keep those birds away. Hopefully, this article explains why birds are pecking at your house.