Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)
Status in the Checklist Area - (3) - Accidental

A small, brightly patterned woodpecker of Oregon, California, Arizona and down into Mexico. Non-migratory and very dedicated to their communal territory. Often lives in large groups up to 16 birds who work together to feed young, store food supplies and protect the territory. Often, breeding females will lay their eggs together in the same nest cavity . These eggs and young are tended by the group. Hoards food by driving acorns or other kinds of nuts into tree snags, telephone poles and the like. These nut-studded larders can reach up to 50,000 nuts! Food shortages can cause some movement to locate new food supplies. This is suggested to be the cause of recent sightings in the last year of this species in northern regions outside its regular range (Washington, B.C., etc). Also eats insects and fruits. Will 'hawk' flying insects by flying out from a perch to grab the insect before returning to its perch.

Similar species:
A most distinctively coloured woodpecker not likely to be confused with any other species of bird.

Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye, (1988)
Sibley, D. 2000

Noteworthy Data
May 16, 2012 Sunshine Valley B. Carson,
C. Barclay
A female coming to feeders. Last seen May 22, 2012 (B. Carson, 2012). Well photographed. During this time, another female was present at feeders in Merritt (Nicola Naturalists, 2012).
Dec. 27, 2010 Fore Road, Abbotsford S. Olson A female recorded on Christmas Bird Count. Feeding in hazelnut orchard. Great many people came to see it during its stay. Last reported on February 5, 2011, at the same location.
May 27, 2010 Manning Park Lodge, Manning Park J. Vooys,
M. Vooys
Well viewed from the parking lot.
Audio and Video    
None available.

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