Unfortunately, after the male flicker worked so hard at making their hole in the tree, the damned starlings came back and took it over. We saw them in the hole. No flickers around. We both work and so couldn't shoo them away, so that was the situation last night. I said to Dennis we can't let them have something they didn't work for. We need to cover it, or somehow keep them from going inside.
So my husband went outside found the right sized rock and shoved it into the hole.
Sure enough the starling was gathering nesting material, and they tried to get into the hole, but now it was covered up. They were stumped.
We figured that was that. If the flickers couldn't claim it, then no one would. Especially those rascals who merely stole it from them.
Now, today, I came home and saw that the flickers were back. I saw that Mr. Flicker had begun to peck a new hole beside the rock. So, my husband went out and yanked the rock out.
My husband came in to report that the Mr. and Mrs. are back. They seemed to be puzzled that the hole was suddenly open. Or, perhaps Mrs. FLicker said "Oh, honey, you really worked hard in getting that huge rock out of the way. Good job!"
"Thank's dear. We got any left over ants in the fridge? I'm starved."
Now to wait and see what drama will unfold. Will the flickers finally make a nest and keep the hole in the tree? Stay tuned.