Guardian story about a very busy Acorn Woodpecker

Just thought people might find this interesting/amusing.

Jolanta Benal


Pretty good!

Great :laughing::+1:

Oaks and acorns are exotic here. I watched a hadeda ibis try, to eat an acorn.
Do any birds apart from ‘acorn woodpeckers’ eat acorns?

oddly, yes, i have learned recently that wood ducks of all things love acorns, swallow them whole and the shells are broken in their gut. I believe wild turkeys also eat a lot of them. And birds like jays can peck them open.


I’ve seen Bluejays and Tufted Titmice eating acorns.

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Scrub jays and Steller’s jays both love acorns. There are plenty of oak woodlands that host acorn woodpeckers plus both types of jays and various squirrel species (native and introduced), but I haven’t seen a lot of conflict among them. Generally, there seem to be plenty of acorns to go around.

The jays and squirrels typically bury their acorns in the ground, which presumably makes it difficult for competitors to find and steal them. The acorn woodpeckers push them into crevices in tree bark (or into telephone poles, wood siding and apparently chimneys). I would think this makes their “granary” more obvious, so presumably they’re more focused on defending it against competitors through the winter and spring. Of course, acorns are notoriously high in tannin, so they’re only going to be of interest to species that are already adapted to digest them.


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