Natural History

Acorn Woodpecker

posted: 05/20/13
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ACORN WOODPECKER, Hastings Natural History Reservation, California | Photo Caption: Excerpted from North America: A World in One Continent by Huw Cordey
Nick Lyon

If chipmunks serve the oak trees well, the acorn woodpecker is its worst nightmare. This woodpecker collects its winter larder by drilling a hole in the trunk of the tree and carefully inserting an acorn into it until it is a perfect fit.

As this is patiently repeated over and over again, the tree is dotted with thousands of acorns. An industrious woodpecker family of six or seven birds can create as many as fifty thousand acorn storage holes in one tree, but sadly not one will ever become another oak tree.

EXPLORE THE MOUNTAINS: Collared Pika | Mountain Goat | Bighorn Sheep | Calliope Hummingbird | Wolverine | Mountain Lion | Acorn Woodpecker | All North American Animals

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