San Francisco Chronicle

Birds stash 700 lbs. of nuts in wall

- By Sam Whiting Reach Sam Whiting: SWhiting@sfchronicl­

A Glen Ellen vacation rental was discovered to be holding 700 pounds of acorns in an unused chimney, apparently put there by woodpecker­s.

The stash was discovered on a service call by Nick’s Extreme Pest Control. A technician called to investigat­e maggots coming out of the wall cut into a wall of the chimney stack and out poured acorns that had piled as high as 25 feet high inside the two-story structure.

“Came across this on a job. Bird was a bit of a hoarder,” was the Facebook post by Nick Castro, who owns the pest control business. “Filled up about 8 garbage bags full of acorns weighing in about 700 lbs. Unreal never came across something like this.”

Images accompanyi­ng the post showed a small hole cut into the side wall of the fireplace and the acorns flowing out like sand, with Castro laying on top of the pile. Extra holes then had to be cut to relieve the outflow.

“They just kept coming. I expected maybe a couple of handfuls but they just kept flowing out of that wall,” said Castro, who has been in business since 2008. “I’ve never seen anything close to this.”

Castro said that after finishing the job he noticed the woodpecker­s at work already trying to rebuild their supply.

“I saw them dropping the acorns down the chimney stack, and a ventilatio­n porthole on the roof where they would fly back in to retrieve them.”

Castro and his crew sealed the ventilatio­n portholes that the birds were using to stash their acorn supplies. He advised area residents to check for broken vent screens and signs of birds flying around a house. Screens should be sealed up and if residents hear pecking or noises in the attic “call a profession­al.”

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