When the verger and the project leader inspected the Nevernes church in Rana municipality, they discovered many small and unwelcome holes. (Photo: Frank Nygård / NRK)
When the wooden Nevernes church in Rana in Nordland county were undergoing inspection, there were discovered fifteen small holes in the church wall and tower. The sinner is a black woodpecker. The hard working bird will not receive any forgiveness, but a deadly shot.
– The church is perforated, says project leader Anders Mastedalshei at the Church Warden’s Office in Rana to NRK.no.
It was last autumn when it was first discovered a mysterious hole high up on the church wall. It did not take long before the troublemaker was observed.
A black woodpecker was pecking on the wall, and on closer examination, more holes were discovered.
The Church services have not been disturbed because the pecking could not be heard inside the building. Nails and a white painted metal plate were used to cover up the holes, but was not enough to stop the bothersome visitor.
Black Woodpecker. (Photo: Alastair Rae, Wikimedia Commons)
– This winter, it went totally bananas. There were holes everywhere. It must have gone crazy, says Masterdalshei.
Moreover, the woodpecker did not appreciate to be disturbed at work.
– It flew around screaming very loudly. It was clear that he was signaling that this was his territory. We were not welcome, says the project leader to NRK.no.
Condemned to Eternal Silence
Masterdalshei says the Church does not see any other alternative than to shoot the black woodpecker who thrives in mature forests all over Scandinavia.
It feeds by using its bill to hammer on dead trees (Editor’s note: and apparently old wooden churches) to dig out sugar ants and woodboring beetles.
– It is a bit sad. The black woodpecker is a special and seldom observed bird. However, the vandalism will cost the Church a lot of money, says the project leader.
Now the church has been granted a hunting permit and been in touch with the Rana Association of Hunters and Anglers that as quickly as possible will send an experienced sniper to do the job.
However, the question is whether the woodpecker has pecked on a sore point: Is the old wooden church so full of bugs that it is in need of urgent rehabilitation anyway?
Text by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews.