Acorn Woodpecker

The Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) does a really cool thing!

Acorn Woodpeckers in a tree
Young Acorn Woodpeckers in a tree.
Acorn Tree
Acorn Tree close-up.

These young Acorn Woodpeckers (above) seem to be waiting on Mt. Laguna for a snack to be brought to them. The Acorn Woodpeckers are known for a very cool behavior. They save acorns for the winter! These birds create granaries trees or “acorn trees” by drilling holes and placing acorns in them to eat later. A single tress can have up to 50,000 holes in it and be used for several generations, or grand parents, parents, and children that come after them. And you thought squirrels were the only ones that hid nuts… 😉

Another cool fact is that these birds work together in groups 10+ Acorn Woodpeckers. Frequently, older brothers and sisters will help the mother and father with the new chicks. They all work to defend food stores and nesting territories, or area of land, year-round. They nest in cavities, or large holes, in old trees.

Get the Acorn Woodpecker Coloring page along with a few other local creatures. And have fun coloring and learning.

Acorn Woodpecker Stats

Common Name: Acorn Woodpecker

Latin Name: Melanerpes formicivorus

Description: a medium-sized woodpecker with straight, spike-like bills and stiff, wedge-shaped tails used for support as the birds cling to tree trunks.

Length: 7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)

Weight: 2.3-3.2 oz (65-90 g)

Wingspan: 13.8-16.9 in (35-43 cm)

Fascinating Fact: These birds collect and store acorns in holes in granaries trees or “acorn trees.”

Scientific Classification

Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Melanerpes
Species: M. formicivorus


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Sources

iNaturalist: Acorn Woodpecker (Retrieved 13NOV2020)

Audubon Society (Retrieved 14NOV2020)

All About Birds (Retrieved 14NOV2020)

Wikipedia (Retrieved 14NOV2020)