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While researching information about Shuttle External Tank insulation, I came across this quite unusual problem: woodpeckers!

The Wikipedia entry on STS-70 states that:

... on 31 May 1995 shuttle managers assessed damage to the External Tank of STS-70 caused by nesting flicker woodpeckers. The damage consisted of about 71 holes (ranging in size from 4 inches in diameter to 1/2 inch in diameter) in the ETs thermal protection foam insulation.

This source claims that Bruce Buckingham, a spokesman at the Kennedy Space Center, mentioned to New York Times the following:

There's been some history to this kind of problem, but not to this degree.

Same source states that, as a result of the incident, NASA set up the Bird Investigation Review and Deterrent (BIRD) team, known as "pecker patrol". There is interesting video about it:

It seems the crew of STS-70 even had a bit of fun about the accident: enter image description here There are some more images here (including damage to insulation and artificial owls set up by the pecker patrol team): http://ohioastronaut.com/sts-70

Given the spokesman statement (about some history to this problem), were there any other cases of woodpeckers spotted on ET and/or damaging insulation, either before or after STS-70?

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STS-70 is the only case of woodpecker damage I know of.

If you search the Space Shuttle Missions Summary document for "woodpecker", that is the only hit.

enter image description here

Image Source

Incidentally, they were Northern Flickers, nice birds.

enter image description here

Image Source

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