Acorn Woodpecker

Melanerpes formicivorus

Order

PICIFORMES

Family

Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4

ACWO

Code 6

MELFOR

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

PHOTOS 1200

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Acorn Woodpecker has a large range of 1,500,000 square kilometers. This includes oak woodlands in western Oregon and western and central California, eastern Arizona and adjacent New Mexico, the Big Bend area of Texas, and many areas in Mexico south to Colombia. The global breeding population of this species is estimated at 5 million individuals. Because of its large and stable population, the Acorn Woodpecker has a conservation rating of Least Concern.

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SUMMARY

Overview

Acorn Woodpecker: Medium-sized, clown-faced woodpecker. The male has a red crown, white forehead and glossy black face and body. The breast is white with black streaking; belly and rump are white. Yellow-tipped throat feathers may be present. Wings are black with white patches. Eyes are white. Female is similar except for a black patch between the white forehead and red crown. The juvenile has a dark eye.


Range and Habitat North America

Acorn Woodpecker: Year-round resident from southern Washington south through California, and east to Colorado and western Texas. Also found in western Mexico through the Central American highlands and into the northern Andes of Colombia. Prefers pine-oak woodlands and tropical hardwood forests, as long as oaks are available nearby.


Range and Habitat Hawaii


Range and Habitat Palau

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INTERESTING FACTS

  • Acorns seem to be emergency provisions; on mild winter days these birds catch flying insects.
  • Breeding groups may contain as many as 7 male breeders and 3 females. All breeding males can mate with any and all of the female breeders of the group.
  • The Acorn Woodpecker stores nuts in individually drilled holes in trees called granaries. The acorns are jammed in so tight that even squirrels can’t pry them out. Some of these granary trees have up to 50,000 holes drilled by extended woodpecker families.
  • A group of acorn woodpeckers are collectively known as a "bushel" of woodpeckers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION



SONGS AND CALLS

Xeno-Canto Sound

Acorn Woodpecker C1

  • Title: Acorn Woodpecker C1
  • Recordist: Paul Marvin
  • Description: Chatter calls.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "7/18/2016"

Acorn Woodpecker C2

  • Title: Acorn Woodpecker C2
  • Recordist: Paul Marvin
  • Description: Calls made while feeding in a group.
  • Location: TX
  • Date: "7/18/2016"

Acorn Woodpecker C3

  • Title: Acorn Woodpecker C3
  • Recordist: Paul Marvin
  • Description: Typical call is a loud "waka-waka".
  • Location: AZ
  • Date: "7/18/2016"

Acorn Woodpecker C4

  • Title: Acorn Woodpecker C4
  • Recordist: Paul Marvin
  • Description: Loud "waka" calls from a group followed by drumming.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "7/18/2016"

Similar Sounding Xeno-Canto

Pileated Woodpecker H2

  • Title: Pileated Woodpecker H2
  • Recordist: Mike Nelson
  • Description: Call is a loud, flicker-like "cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk".
  • Location: TN
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Voice Text

"ja-cob, ja-cob", "wake-up, wake-up"

Vocalization

Acorn Woodpecker: Emits a loud "ja-cob, ja-cob" or "wake-up, wake-up."

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X