The Acorn Woodpecker, A Rare Bird That Maintains Granaries Effectively

the Acorn Woodpecker

Black is the color that has separate fans. In this article, we are going to introduce you to a bird with glossy black feathers and a red cap on its head, which grabs your attention instantly.

The Acorn Woodpecker has a brownish-black head, wings, back, and tail feathers, with a white forehead, throat, belly, and rump. Prominently, they have black streaking lines on the upper side of their belly or the upper chest area. They have bright white eyes. The most striking feature of the Acorn Woodpecker is its red cap over its head. A red cap with black plumage makes an elegant combination.

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The Acorn Woodpecker is a small-sized bird measuring 21 cm in length and an average weight of 85 grams. The natural habitat of Acorn Woodpecker is tropical and subtropical moist montane forests and inland wetlands. 

the Acorn Woodpecker

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Acorn Woodpeckers have a call that almost sounds as if they are laughing. They are not considered migratory birds and have a lifespan of 4.2 years.

Read further about the Acorn Woodpeckers and their rare habits of maintaining granaries. 

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Meet the Adult Acorn Woodpecker.

Adult males of Acorn Woodpeckers have a red cap starting at the forehead, whereas females have a black area between the forehead and the red cap. 

the Acorn Woodpecker

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The habitat in forested areas with oaks.

Acorn Woodpeckers are mostly found in the coastal areas and foothills of Oregon, California, and the Southwestern United States, south through Central America to Colombia.

They may occur at low elevations but rarely below 1000 meters. 

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Acorn Woodpeckers are cooperative breeders.

Acorn Woodpeckers are known for breeding in family groups of up to 15 individuals where they incubate and take care of young ones collectively with other members of the family.

the Acorn Woodpecker

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Non-breeders are helpers at the nest to take care of, they are the offspring from prior breeding events. Here a more interesting fact associated with Acorn Woodpeckers is that all breeder males (might be brothers or fathers and their sons) compete for mating with all breeder females (might be sisters or mothers and their daughters).  

Females lay their eggs communally in the same nest cavity.

the Acorn Woodpecker

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As their name implies, they depend highly on acorns for food.

To take advantage of fall acorns, the Acorn Woodpeckers may nest in the same, especially in California. It is a rare behavior in birds.

They drill into the trees for making small holes and utilize them as granaries or storage trees.

the Acorn Woodpecker

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The Acorn Woodpeckers usually go for dead trees and branches, utility poles, or wooden buildings to store acorns. Granaries can consist of thousands of holes which each be filled by an acorn in the autumn.

The Acron Woodpeckers most often feed on acorns.

Acorns are an important backup food resource, but they also feed on insects, sap, and fruit. The Acorn Woodpeckers can be seen sallying from tree limbs to catch insects, eating seeds and fruits, and drilling holes to drink the sap.

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the Acorn Woodpecker

As per studies, only 9% of the bird species indulge in cooperative breeding, and Acorn Woodpecker is one of them. The Acorn Woodpeckers are threatened by habitat loss and degradation. In urbanized areas, competition for nest cavities by non-native species is an ongoing threat for Acorn woodpeckers. Conservation of mature oak and pine-oak stands of trees and providing them dead snags for nesting, roosting and granary sites lead to preserve the Acorn Woodpecker population.

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Comment down your thoughts about the rare habits of this Acorn Woodpecker.

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