Woodpeckers damaging church to be shot

Elverum churchElverum church.Photo: Morten Holm / SCANPIX

Permit issued to shoot woodpeckers damaging church in Elverum

Woodpeckers interfere with funerals, and have recently made between 20 and 30 holes in the Elverum church. Now, the municipality has issued a shoot-to-kill authorisation permit on the birds.

“They let loose on the church building and make holes. I’m afraid of further raw damage. Something needs to be done,” said pastor, Ole Kristian Bonden, to NRK news.

Lately, the birds have made dozens of holes in the red woodwork of the church.

“If it is completely silent in the church, then you hear it well,” said the pastor.

Blue cloths!

Elverum Church Council has asked the Norwegian Ornithological Association for tips on possible measures. One piece of advice has been to hang up blue strips of cloth on the walls!

“The woodpeckers apparently do not like things that hang and flutter, and especially if they are of a powerful, luminous blue colour, ” said Håkan Billing, head of the Norwegian Ornithological Association in Oslo and Akershus.

But hanging such blue strips on the church is probably out of the question according to the church heritage foundation in Elverum.


Fallback leader, Jan Erik Olbergsveen in Elverum municipality is sceptical about shooting the woodpeckers, even though there has been a permit given.

“It is not exactly a task we much want to take on. Standing at a grave and shooting some birds underneath the ridge, there will be life taken,” said Olbergsveen.

The clergy are also sceptical about killing the birds.

“The fact that we have now received a permit does not mean, however, that we will implement it,” said church warden, Ann Kristin Myrer.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today