Acorn Woodpecker

Melanerpes formicivorus

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Acorn woodpeckers are cooperative breeders--they live in family groups with multiple males and females that forage, ward off predators and competitors, and care for young together.  So when you see one, you can usually see or hear a few more nearby.


We have at least nine families living right in the heart of our campus, with active granaries--the trees where they store their acorns. For instance, one granary is just outside the library, one is just above Clark Hall, one is by the Prayer Chapel, one is above Armington right next to the reservoir, and one is near the tennis courts. We also have a couple family groups with granaries just adjacent to campus that you often see and hear along the west side of the Paul Willis trail.

Keep an eye out for nesting cavities in trees near granaries as well! And look here for a video of a woodpecker nestling near the library.

Photo Credit: Carrie Steingruber (1), Alan Sparkman (2)