Woodpecker Attacks Lazy Hill Dovecote

Sounds like a salacious headline, doesn’t it?  Woodpecker Attacks Lazy Hill Birdhouse: News at 5.

Over the years I’ve gone on many garden tours here in the metro Atlanta area. Often while touring I would see these amazing birdhouses that I later found out were Lazy Hill Dovecotes. After pricing them I decided they were just too expensive but years upon years of seeing them in gardens wore me down, especially when one gardener told me her’s had been in the garden for 10 years. It still looked great! She said they last just about forever.

After hearing that I decided it just might be worth the $350 it would cost to buy one. When I added the porches onto the house six years ago, I finally splurged and bought my long desired Lazy Hill Dovecote. I placed it here in my perennial garden beside the driveway so I could enjoy it every day as I left and returned home.

I absolutely love it and it has given me 10x the enjoyment over what it cost. It was definitely worth the investment.

Perennial Garden with Dovecote Bird House


The bluebirds who visit my yard love it, too. They nest in it several times each spring/summer, sometimes as many as three times in one season. That’s dad bluebird watching the crazy woman with the camera inching closer while mom bluebird is dropping down to get more meal worms from the tray I had just filled with them. You can see more pictures of the bluebirds in this post: Bluebirds Nesting in a Lazy Hill Dovecote

Bluebirds Nesting in Dovecote


At Christmastime it’s the perfect place to hang a wreath.

Wreath on Lazy Hill Dovecote


A few days ago I pulled into the driveway and got out to check the mail. I glanced over at the dovecote and this is what I saw. My mouth just fell open. I was completely speechless.

Dovecote with Woodpecker Damage


What do you think? Woodpecker?

Woodpecker Damage to Dovecote


Update: See how I repaired the roof of my Lazy Hill dovecote here: How To Repair a Woodpecker-Damaged Roof of a Lazy Hill Dovecote Birdhouse

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 


  1. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Noooooooooooooooo………….that makes me sick!! I am so curious as to
    what did that! I LOVE the Bird House…………Do you mind sharing where we can buy one?
    Please keep us posted when you identify the suspect!!!

  2. Oh my goodness! I have no idea what could have done that to your lovely Dovecote. What a shame. It does look like something tore into the top portion and them just pulled off the row of shingles to get at…what? Is that foam insulation I see? Sure hope what ever did the damage was just as disappointed at what they found as you were when you saw the damage. Good news is it looks like you can repair it, yes? Vikki in VA

    • I hope so. I’m going to take it to the local bird store where I buy my seed and see what they say. I just noticed they are being made in the USA again so maybe I can ship it off to the factory and they can just repair the roof. I was getting ready to clean it and paint the finial on top, but now it needs a lot more.

  3. Pat Stansel says

    I had the exact same dovecote as yours. This was at our second home at LakeArrowead Ca. So sorry to see that some critter did that—-how rude !!! I think they are beautifully made& it must have been an uncouth monster that did it. Hope you can repair it !!

  4. Susan – I have the Lazy Hill bird feeder with the same roof. The woodpecker got to mine … caught him in the act … damage looks just like yours. I called the company and they sent me a box of replacement wooden shingles. Easy to fix.

  5. It could have been a squirrel, they are quite destructive and have torn up several of my birdhouses.

  6. Oh, how awful That made me sick just looking at the photo of it. Hopefully, you can get replacement shingles to repair it.

  7. Esther George says

    Ahh…the Birdhouse I wanted one forever but they are $800- over here (shamelessly expensive) so I just have to imagine one in my garden. From what I’ve seen on Woodpeckers you are lucky he didn’t go too far, it’s still beautiful. Regards Esther from Sydney. PS love your blog.

    • Wow! That’s crazy expensive. I wonder if you could buy one from an eBay seller. It might be a little pricey to ship it but has to be less than what it would cost to buy it there. I also noticed them on Amazon for less than $300…will they ship to Australia? I know…the owner of the bird store near me said the damage sounds like a woodpecker. He said they usually keep going until they get all the way through and then realize they can fit inside. Sometimes he said they even go around to the other side and start over there. I haven’t looked on the other side, hopefully it’s not damaged too.

    • Oh, and thanks Esther…appreciate that so much!

  8. Beautiful bird house. I hope it is easily repaired!

  9. Patricia Mason says

    Oh My ! I couldn’t believe the picture ! I don’t know what else could do that kind of damage – you don’t think the raccoon could climb up there, do you ? I would take a photo and send it to the Lazy Hill Dovecote company that makes the house and see what they say – maybe they’ve seen that before….. !

  10. I know that Lazy Hill exhabits at the Atlanta Gift Mart I’d call the mart and ask for their phone number. I had the same reaction when I first saw this house. I also “had to have one”. I have the same house and would be very upset if I lost it.

  11. Wow, Susan. Looks like a woodpecker damage to me, but I’ll stay tuned to see what other readers say, and to see if Lazy Hill helps you in repairing it. So interesting that the bluebirds nested there. I would love to have bluebirds nest in my landscape. They have visited (shopping condos, I suppose), but never took up residence. My sister has them every year – do you host them each year? They’re beautiful. I read your other, very informative post too – good info.

  12. If it is a woodpecker & as persistent as ours repairing it may not be the end of your troubles. We have been battling a woodpecker for 3 months, 3 handyman repairs ( to the hole) in our wooden chimney. And, they are protected as a migrating bird so you can’t shoot them! Finally, we went the route of shiny things ( they don’t like them). We hung 3 shiny helium balloons at the end of a 20′ pole & propped it up the chimney from the deck. Haven’t seen him in 10 days now. Holding breath and praying it is over because it has made me a nervous wreck. Good luck!

  13. It looks like a cat clawed the birdhouse.

  14. pam ~ crumpeety cottage says

    Eww .. Susan, that looks awful! πŸ™ I sure hope you can get it fixed right away. What a shame. Woodpeckers are pesty! We’ve had to deal with them too. One made quite a large hole in a wood lamp post light in our front sidewalk. And I sometimes hear him rat – a – tat – tatting at the siding, too. The house is brick with a little bit of hardy board and stacked stone, so I don’t know how he hasn’t broken his beak yet! What a little pest. [ – (

    Surely this is a fairly common problem though, so the folks at Lazy Hill / Good Directions ought to be able to fix you right up. But did you ever think you’d be re-shingling your dovecote – by yourself? Lol. The things we do. πŸ˜€

    Have a great week, Susan. πŸ™‚

  15. Juanita in OH says

    Oooooooh my goodness, that is unbelieveable!! When I was a child we had a cat that tried to catch a bluejay in our pear tree. Sometimes birds can be as cantankerous as any curmudgeon! What are you going to do??? Maybe, you should put a sign on the roof out there that says “WOODPECKERS FORBIDDEN HERE”, lol.

  16. Welcome to MY world….we have pileated woodpeckers..eating US out of house and cabin!! We have left dead pine trees standing, etc….nope, cabin wood must peck better. πŸ™ Good luck! franki

  17. Hi lovely lady.
    This was No woodpecker doing this. I think it was a four leged Squirrel. I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

  18. Pesky squirrels have destroyed several of our blue bird houses, they gnaw huge hunks out of the wood. Makes it very difficult for my husband to repair. Very frustrating to say the least. So sorry Susan.

  19. Oh my, how awful! Some critter sure did the dirty deed. You will never know until you catch them in the act. Such a pretty bird house, needs a little reshingle. Something (bug) must have been hiding. So sorry! As I say- there is always something to get upset about.

  20. Susan I hope you will not take back your invite for our visit on the porch, but when I saw your picture I knew you were right. I watched a woodpecker make the hole bigger in a lovely bird house at my sister in laws house.
    I have to say the idea of the flashy metal idea should work. Maybe there is a pretty lawn ornament that would cause that effect, while adding to your beautiful garden.

  21. That is a shame. I have always admired your birdhouse. 14 years ago I bought the smallest Lazy Hill house – one opening. It suits our small townhouse garden. A few years ago a woodpecker stopped by – on several occasions – and “drilled” extra holes in the house. I saw him do it! I never repaired it – hoping that if I ever get a larger home…I can get a bigger birdhouse too.

    Hoping you can get replacement shingles!


  22. Anne Boykin says

    Hi Susan, I had squirrels damage my dovecote at my last house. I bought another dovecote for my new house. It’s near my back porch and hasn’t had in damage, thankfully. I hope you can get shingles for yours and fix it!

  23. Oh, I gasped when I saw the damage! Your lovely dovecote! In my yard, it’s the rats in fur coats, err, squirrels, who do damage like that to my birdhouses & feeders. I do hope you can fix it. Please keep us updated.

  24. ~Susan~
    OHH NO! boy I hope that can be fixed !! DARN .
    and I brought mine (just like yours) on a trip to Asheville for $80.00 , I think I really scored on the price !!


  25. Gloria in Pgh says

    Susan: my reaction was the same as yours … when I scrolled down and saw the picture my jaw just dropped!! I am so sorry to see the damage to your lovely dovecote which I have admired. I really hope that you can get it repaired AND that Woody Woodpecker has flown the coop (ugh —sorry!).

  26. Hi Susan, I hope you can get some replacement shingles.
    Years ago now I worked for a sign company that built the giant M&M characters
    on the front of M&M World here in Las Vegas…They were foam filled with a hard fiberglass shell.
    After a few years the customer started to complain that birds had begun pecking into the characters
    to get at the foam…I don’t know if they were eating it or nesting in it but it became a problem.
    I don’t think there was a fix other than to keep filling the holes and patching it up.

    • Thanks, Adam. I called the company that makes the Lazy Hill birdhouses now and unfortunately they have switched from using cedar to redwood. They can sell me some shingles but I doubt they will age to pretty gray patina that the cedar did…so not sure what I’m going to do.

  27. How horrible, that’s a nice size chunk the dastardly villain took out. Hopefully your nice feathered friends will have their home repaired soon.

  28. Maybe a new copper roof would solve the problem?

  29. Hi Susan,
    I am so sorry about your dovecote. Perhaps you can repair it. By the way, am I the only person who thought some deranged lunatic had stuffed it with sponge cake? Took me a minute to realize that was foam!
    Take care!

    • lol It does look like that! I never knew what was under there. I’m guessing that’s some kind of foam insulation…maybe to help the cedar shingles last longer in the summer heat…or to keep the birds cooler.

  30. I see this often with birdhouses and like a few others have said my guess would be Squirrels also .I use barn steel on my houses and no problems so far .

  31. Robert Harlan Jr says

    Hi Susan,
    I think your dovecote birdhouse is a crown jewel of your yard. I am venturing to build one from scratch and was hoping you can get me some basic measurements. I know there are many shingles to this roof, . . . are the lengths of the shingles 3″ ? I am just guessing. Let me know if you can help with some measurements to help me build a replica as your is.

    Robert Harlan

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!