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Birds are Amazing: Acorn Woodpecker

Height: 18 - 25 in.

Wingspan: 3 - 5 ft.

Weight: 2 - 5.5 lbs.

Lifespan: up to 28 years

The acorn woodpecker is a unique and fascinating bird species that inhabit much of western North America. Known for its striking appearance and interesting behavior, this bird has captured the attention of bird enthusiasts and researchers alike.

Physical Characteristics

Acorn woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds, typically measuring between 8-9 inches in length and weighing between 2-3 ounces. They have a distinctive appearance, with a black and white striped face, a red crown, and a black and white back. They also have a unique adaptation for storing food: a specialized bill that is long, slender, and slightly curved.


One of the most interesting aspects of the acorn woodpecker is its behavior when it comes to food storage. These birds live in large, cooperative groups, and they use their specialized bills to drill holes in trees and wooden structures. They then collect acorns, which they store in these holes, creating a "granary" for future use. Each group of acorn woodpeckers can store tens of thousands of acorns in this way, and the granary serves as an important source of food during the winter months when other food sources may be scarce.

In addition to their food storage behavior, acorn woodpeckers are also known for their vocalizations. They have a distinctive, high-pitched "waka-waka" call, which they use to communicate with each other and defend their territory.

Habitat and Range

Acorn woodpeckers can be found in a wide range of habitats, including oak woodlands, pine forests, and urban parks. They are most commonly found in western North America, from southern British Columbia and Alberta in Canada, down to central Mexico. They are also known to migrate in some areas, moving to lower elevations during the winter months.

Conservation Status

Acorn woodpeckers are currently considered a species of "Least Concern" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, like many bird species, they face threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as competition with non-native species such as European starlings and house sparrows.

The acorn woodpecker is a fascinating bird species that demonstrates remarkable behavior when it comes to food storage. Its unique appearance, vocalizations, and habitat make it a popular subject for bird enthusiasts and researchers alike. As with many bird species, it is important to continue monitoring their populations and addressing threats to their habitat in order to ensure their survival in the wild.

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