My landlord is in the process of replacing all the windows in my unit. Within a few days of the second floor windows being replaced, I began to hear a persistent tapping coming from outside. While I've never seen a woodpecker in the neighborhood, there is a local Flicker I regularly see hanging from a telephone pole across the street. The sound I was hearing was much softer than the staccato thump of a woodpecker's excavation. My place is small, so it wasn't too difficult to echolocate the source of the tapping. It was coming from just outside the new bathroom window. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. I strained to see if I could spot the avian miner. Sure enough, I saw a little rapid motion. Rather than outright scare him/her off, I tapped on the inside of the wall, which startled the critter long enough for him/her to look around. This is the face that greeted me.
Black-capped chickadees are cavity nesters and are perfectly capable of drilling their own living space in softer wood. Both the male and female participate in the work and it usually takes 7-10 days to bore a family-sized hole. They are also extremely persistent. I'll be filling the hole, then mounting a species-specific nesting box on Friday (after it arrives)—their effort should be rewarded. I hope they move in.