Sunday, May 10, 2015

Acorn Woodpecker

This Acorn Woodpecker is the sixth woodpecker species I have featured since the 30th of April. It is likely the last, as these six are all the species that can normally be found in the Willamette Valley. This woodpecker is one of the easiest to identify for several reasons.  It's unique pattern of color for one, but in addition it likes to hang out in a group, and seems to always have a good deal of chattering going on.  Then there is their easily observed food storage program.  They drill holes in old snags where they tightly jam in oak acorns. I've backed up this photo to be able to include the acorns. We found a couple of these Acorn Woodpeckers yesterday on a old snag on the east end of the pedestrian bridge at the Dayton Landing County Park. The snag has a number of European Starlings nesting in old woodpecker holes.  A quick glance with the naked eye would indicate that all the birds are Starlings because of similar silhouettes and size.  My friend John West quotes bird expert David Vander Pluym as saying "bird every bird".  In other words it's important to take the time and look at each bird individually and not assume they are all Starlings for example.  

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