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Acorn Woodpecker

Melanerpes formicivorus

Acorn Woodpeckers are closely associated with oak woods and are most often found in pine-oak woodlands. These bold and striking birds live in complex social units, storing and guarding acorns as an extended family, and cooperatively raising their young. These groups may include multiple breeding adults, often with twice as many males as female breeding adults. Groups usually have more non-breeding members than breeders, and these will contribute to the rearing of the season’s newest generation.

As one might guess from their name, these birds will gather and store thousands of acorns, placing them in tight fitting holes made in a standing tree (live or dead) called a larder tree. As the acorns dry, they shrink. These birds will monitor the status of their cache and move the acorns into smaller holes as they shrink.



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