Gwinnett County

Woodpecker blamed for dozens of broken mirrors

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Neighbors thought they were being terrorized by vandals. It turns out it was a bird.

Last Friday Kevin Morrisey walked out to his Ford Explorer to find glass broken on the ground.

“I saw the glass, said, 'Son of a biscuit, it got hit,'” Morrisey said.

His side mirror smashed and he wasn’t alone: One of up to two dozen victims in the Nob Hill subdivision of Snellville.

The “suspect” struck in broad daylight. Neighbors thought it must be kids with a BB gun or hammer.

“I’ve been hearing them, running up and down the creek behind my house,” said one neighbor.

Neighbor John Hancock’s wife’s mirror got hit too. He called police and officers took reports and even sent more patrols into the neighborhood.


Until the culprit was caught red-“headed.”

“I thought, ‘Oh my God I got taken in by a woodpecker,’” Hancock said.

The woodpecker was about the size of a crow.

The woodpecker was not actually trying to break the glass. It saw its reflection and thought it was attacking another woodpecker.

Homeowners are now resorting to bagging their car’s side mirrors to protect the glass.

“So, when I get home, I keep this bag on there,” Morrisey said.

There’s a warning for anyone attempting to capture or harm the bird: The pileated woodpecker is a protected species.