Acorn Woodpecker

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).

Acorn Woodpecker

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.

Acorn Woodpecker

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.

Acorn Woodpecker

A couple of female Acorn Woodpeckers were not going to be denied their turn either.

Acorn Woodpecker

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.

Acorn Woodpecker

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.

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Written by Larry
Larry Jordan was introduced to birding after moving to northern California where he was overwhelmed by the local wildlife, forcing him to buy his first field guide just to be able to identify all the species visiting his yard. Building birdhouses and putting up feeders brought the avian fauna even closer and he was hooked. Larry wanted to share his passion for birds and conservation and hatched The Birder's Report in September of 2007. His recent focus is on bringing the Western Burrowing Owl back to life in California where he also monitors several bluebird trails. He is a BirdLife Species Champion and contributes to several other conservation efforts, being the webmaster for Wintu Audubon Society and the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Urban Bird Foundation. He is now co-founder of a movement to create a new revenue stream for our National Wildlife Refuges with a Wildlife Conservation Pass.