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I'd like to know if anyone can explain the following bird behaviour, witnessed by a friend at her home in Devon;
The house is clad in cedar boards and for the last two winters when the weather gets very cold she has observed various tits and sparrows 'hammering'or 'tapping' on the face of the board, very similar to the way a woodpecker might. This behaviour is different from when they peck at the nooks and crannies in search of insects lurking there.
We wondered if they were using it to make an alarm noise; shock insects into fleeing into the open; or trying to get at something in the wood itself.
Alternatively, can anyone suggest how to discourage them from this practise as she's worried their persistent hammering may damage the wood.