Birding Thursday: Acorn Woodpecker
Or, Monday? Can’t have enough birds now can we?!?!?!!
This is most definitely one of my favorite woodpeckers. I suppose it would be all those Saturday mornings I spent watching Woody the Woodpecker (although some argue that it’s a Pileated Woodpecker) on TV…so see, I was destined to be a birder, right?
Last year when I worked in the mountains I got to see these little, clown like and sometimes obnoxious sounding woodpeckers everyday. I certainly miss their hyena-like call throughout the oaks forests I frequented for work!
Like the Pygmy Nuthatches I talked about a few months ago they live in extended family groups where chicks from previous clutches will help for up to several years in raising young and providing food. And boy do they provide food, by storing HUNDREDS of acorns in various types of holes in trees and telephone poles!
Acorn Woodpeckers are nest cavity breeders with up to 2-8 eggs, mostly in places with oak trees; they really like oak woodland areas. During the breeding season if there there is joint nesting among females, but sadly they will go around breaking other eggs in cavities so they can lay their own; this behavior stops as soon as the last female lays her eggs. Pretty competitive is you ask me!
How stink’n cute is that baby!? I know you would squeal like a girl if you saw one of those in a hole in an oak tree. I sure would.
In the wild these woodpeckers are known to live up to 9 years on average, breeding each and every year. They sure are tough little birds!!!