Immature male Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)Lake Los…

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Immature male Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)

Lake Los Carneros, 2018-09-30

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dendroica: nybg: steepravine: Late Night Special: Old Douglas…

Sunday, April 20th, 2014




Late Night Special: Old Douglas Fir Woodpeckers Covered With Acorns

Acorn woodpeckers spend their time collecting acorns, drilling holes in firs, and then popping the acorns in the holes for safe keeping. This is the most extreme example I’ve seen to date, with hundreds of holes on every surface, including the underside of the limbs!

(Mount Tamalpais, California – 4/2014)

I suspect these little miscreants would be a nightmare for our arborists and groundskeepers. Aside from trees, they’ve been known to create acorn “granaries” in just about anything they can punch holes in—buildings, fenceposts, etc. Lucky for us they’re westerners through and through. —MN

Acorn Woodpecker is pretty high on my wishlist of birds to see.

They’re really fun. They hang out in groups and do these off-the-wall clownish flights where they launch off a trunk, do a big loop-the-loop and end up right where they started, laughing like avian hyenas the whole time.

The sweet gum tree in our front yard, where last year a pair of downy woodpeckers hollowed out a nest hole, has now (just today, actually) been taken over by acorn woodpeckers. I saw a group of three of them hanging out near the hole this morning, one pecking out the entrance to make it larger, the other two perched nearby kibitzing. A few hours later when my wife and I returned from the supermarket, she pointed out that you could still hear tapping, even though no woodpeckers were externally visible, so presumably the remodel is continuing inside the nest chamber.

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