Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Acorn Woodpecker at Sequoia National Park
The Sequoia trip was the most recent, and we didn't actually see a great many birds, but at our first stop in the park, one of my students noticed the Acorn Woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus) in the trees above our vehicles. We were at the Foothills Visitor Center in the lower elevations of the park where the vegetation is dominated more by oak trees and chaparral. That's the ideal habitat for the woodpeckers. They have plenty of acorns, and lots of large "granary trees" where they drill thousands of holes to store their nutty treasures. They are very social birds, and generate a lot of noise as they chase through the tree tops. They are among my favorites.