Meet the Acorn Woodpecker: The Final Stockpiler


What Does an Acorn Woodpecker Look Like?

acorn woodpeckerCourtesy Kitty Warner
Feminine and male acorn woodpeckers consuming an orange

It may be troublesome to inform a feminine and male acorn woodpecker aside. However whereas each sexes have a crimson cap and a white brow, the females have a black band separating the 2.

Uncover 14 mind-blowing woodpecker information you need to know.

What Do Acorn Woodpeckers Eat?

acorn woodpeckersMarie Learn
Acorn woodpeckers retailer acorns in a granary tree

In relation to hoarding meals, few birds evaluate to the acorn woodpecker. In contrast to woodpeckers that faucet their means into tree trunks to mow down bugs, these western birds bore small, tidy holes into wooden the place they retailer acorns (and generally different nuts) by the hundreds. In truth, only one acorn woodpecker household unit could create a winter stockpile of as much as 50,000 acorns in a single tree, known as a granary.

Meet the yellow-bellied sapsucker: a woodpecker by one other title.

One hen stands guard in opposition to any would-be thieves because the others deal with constructing their spectacular cache. To ensure their treasures keep put, the birds knock every acorn right into a gap, utilizing their beaks as makeshift mallets. If an acorn begins to loosen, one of many woodpeckers will transfer it to a better-fitting cavity. Study why birds cache meals.

Acorn woodpeckers additionally use human-made constructions to retailer meals, from phone poles to the perimeters of buildings. One of many greatest collections discovered was a wood water barrel stuffed with 485 kilos of acorns.

Nonetheless, regardless of its title, an acorn woodpecker eats extra than simply acorns. Additionally they devour ants and flying bugs that they snatch out of the air. Tree sap, fruit and even lizards are on the menu, too. Hold your suet and seed feeders well-stocked.

Right here’s the greatest meals to draw woodpeckers.

Nesting Habits and Eggs

250352686 1 Linda Sheive Hjelle Bnb Bypc2020Courtesy Linda Sheive Hjelle
Acorn woodpecker household nesting in a eucalyptus tree

Acorn woodpeckers are extremely social birds. They reside collectively in teams of as much as 12 or extra adults, and so they nest and lift hatchlings communally. The breeding females usually maintain their eggs collectively in a shared nest, which is at all times inside a tree cavity. An particularly crowded cavity was as soon as discovered with 17 eggs in it.

A number of group members assist incubate the eggs. Acorn woodpeckers don’t construct their nests, although. As a substitute, they make the most of recent wooden chips, which accumulate inside tree cavities because of their pecking, as nesting materials.

As soon as the younger are born, different members of the family work alongside the dad and mom to rear and feed the child birds. It’s widespread for grown offspring from the earlier 12 months to help their dad and mom in elevating the brand new brood.

Household teams are extraordinarily protecting of their habitat and guard a territory averaging 15 acres.

“A number of years in the past these acorn woodpeckers (above) took up residence in our lower eucalyptus tree off our entrance porch. Finally we had been capable of get pictures of the newborn rising,” says Birds & Blooms reader Linda Sheive Hjelle.

Meet 11 kinds of woodpeckers birders ought to know.

Do Acorn Woodpeckers Migrate?

19 Tonyattanasio Bbxjuly19Courtesy Tony Attanasio
Acorn woodpecker on a yard sugar water feeder

As a result of they’re masters at storing provides for winter, acorn woodpeckers are resident birds, that means they don’t sometimes migrate until they run out of meals. You’ll be able to entice these rowdy birds to your yard in the event you reside of their vary. This species lives year-round in western Oregon and California woodlands. They will also be discovered within the Southwest and south of the border in Mexico and Central America.

Meet the sapsucker birds: woodpeckers with a candy tooth.

Acorn Woodpecker Habitat

17 Brianbailey Bbxmar18Courtesy Brian Bailey
Acorn woodpecker and a scrub jay

Your greatest wager for seeing these quirky woodpeckers in individual is to take a stroll via the woods. They are often seen year-round in areas with oak and pine-oak woodlands, together with some suburban areas and city parks. In case you discover a tree riddled with holes and listen to a waka-waka name, lookup!

Downy vs bushy woodpecker: the right way to inform the distinction.

Acorn Woodpecker Enjoyable Reality

acorn WoodpeckerRob Ripma
Look intently and you’ll see acorns saved within the holes within the tree.

Opposite to fashionable perception, Woody the Woodpecker was impressed by an acorn—not pileated— woodpecker.

Subsequent, find out about red-bellied woodpeckers.