Acorn Woodpeckers Drinking Sugar Water?
OK. You probably know that I live where we have many, many woodpeckers. One of the most abundant woodpeckers in Oak Run, where I live, is the Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus).
The photos above and below are an adult male Acorn Woodpecker hanging on a hummingbird feeder at the University of California Hopland Research and Extension Center where I attended a meeting back in February.
You may also be aware that I have been feeding hummingbirds at my home for over thirty years now. During all these years I have never had woodpeckers of any species feeding at my hummingbird feeders, so I found this very odd.
This is a close-up of a male with his tongue in the feeder. Obviously his beak won’t gain access to these feeders.
A couple of female Acorn Woodpeckers were not going to be denied their turn either.
These woodpeckers were very adept at feeding from these hummingbird feeders and several of the people I spoke with at the meeting told me they had seen this behavior before.
Odd I say. What say you?
As a side comment, it should be noted that these hummingbird feeders have not been properly maintained. You can see the black spots on the inside of the feeders. This is most likely black mold. It is dangerous to hummingbird health and can actually kill the birds. If you don’t know how to properly clean your hummingbird feeders look here.