Acorn Woodpeckers, Female (Right) and Male (Left), (c) Photo by Steve Kaye

This Bird Lives Like a Farmer

Acorn Woodpeckers, Female (Left) and Male (Right), (c) Photo by Steve Kaye, in Meet the Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpeckers, Female (Left) and Male (Right)


This bird lives like a farmer.

Why?

Because half its diet consists of acorns.

And acorns are a seasonal crop.

So it spends the harvest months collecting and storing acorns. Then it lives off the acorns during winter, spring, and early summer.

Like any group dependent upon farming, Acorn Woodpeckers live in towns (communities of about 10 birds) near their farms (oak trees).

A community survives best through cooperation.

In this case, males and females incubate eggs. Breeding and non-breeding adults feed nestlings. And everybody collects acorns.

In the above photo, she is on the left and he is on the right. You can tell because she has a black band between her red cap and white forehead.

They’re on a stump, that had been left high in a Eucalyptus tree at Carbon Canyon Regional Park, Brea, CA.

There’s an important birding point here.

A bird’s survival depends upon finding food. That determines where it lives and how it behaves. So knowing these attributes is the key to knowing where to find the bird.

Much success,

Steve Kaye

By the way, there are now six collections of bird photos. See them at: See Bird Photos.

Enjoy.


Inspiring Respect for Nature, one bird at a time.

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7 Comments
  • Bob Franz
    Posted at 12:16h, 10 March

    Hi Steve,

    How did you get this shot that appears to be looking down on the branch stump that is high in a tree?

  • Bob Chianese
    Posted at 15:28h, 10 March

    Steve:

    They sound like Hunter/Gatherers, the pre-agricultural state of human society. Now if they planted those acorns, and kept the young trees healthy until the mature trees produced more acorns, then they would be farmers, actually orchardists. And if they banded together, they could form an exploitive agri-business, cornering the market on acorns.

  • Eileen Brownell
    Posted at 18:13h, 10 March

    Great photo as always. Love how you provide interesting information on each bird. Thanks again!

  • Kathryn Grace
    Posted at 10:10h, 14 March

    How wonderful, your farmer analogy. And when you spoke of their community, I immediately thought of an ecovillage. Charming and informative as always, Steve. Thank you.

  • Aaron V. Smith
    Posted at 13:34h, 14 March

    Great work Steve. I really enjoy looking at all your work. Just bought a new lens the Tamron 150-600mm. Sorry I took so long, Just got out of the hospital again, will let you know how the lens works when I get used to it.

  • Kris Risley
    Posted at 21:08h, 29 May

    What amazing looking birds and super photo. Were you up in a tree, on a hill or what?

  • Steve Kaye
    Posted at 10:44h, 30 May

    Thank you for asking about how this photo was taken. I used a 600 mm lens with a 1.4 X extender. Since the cut of this stump slopes toward you, the view creates the impression that you are level with these birds. This by the way is something to consider when taking photos – how can the setting enhance the story.

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