Acorn Woodpecker
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General description.

The "Acorn Woodpecker" is "boldly patterned", wearing a coat of black with a white patch at the base of his primaries. His lower breast is streaked black on white; his rump, white. On his head, he sports a ring of black around the base of the bill, setting off his staring white eye. In addition to the red crown patch, a white forecrown narrowly connects to a yellow-tinged white throat.

Female appearance.

The adult female Acorn is similar to the male, but her white forehead is separated from the red crown by a band of black.

Juvenile appearance.

Both male "and female juveniles have red crown patches, but their black areas are duller and irises dark.

Breeding habits.

The communal "Acorn Woodpecker" ranges in groups of four or more breeding males and three breeding females. The live and breed on the West Coast from Oregon south. Some breeding populations are found on the east side of the Sierra Nevadas and on the Edwards Plateau in Texas.

Calls or song.

These birds are noisy and emit the raucous "Woody Woodpecker" call: "wack-a, wack-a" or a scratchy, drawn out, "krrrit-kut" ending in a high "urrrk". Their "drum" is a simple, slow roll of about 10-20 beats.

Population and distribution.

The "American Woodpecker" is commonly found year round wherever oak trees abound in the west and southwest. They also use wooden telegraph poles as storehouses for their favorite food, acorns, naturally.

Nesting habits.

All woodpeckers excavate a nest hole in a living or dead tree; a hole is bored inwards and then an oval chamber is drilled downwards. Chippings are dropped in a pile beneath the hole. The female lays 2-8 white eggs.
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