Bird Species Profile: Acorn Woodpecker

While birding in Central America, it was fun to see this bird species that I typically associate with parts of the western US.

Rob Ripma

While birding in the highlands of Costa Rica in July, it was very interesting to spend time watching a species that I don’t usually associate with the tropics but instead with parts of the western United States – Acorn Woodpecker. I’ve always loved woodpecker species, and Acorn Woodpeckers are definitely among my favorites. They have some of the most interesting plumage of any of the woodpeckers, and they’re often referred to as the “clowns” of the bird world!

I photographed this Acorn Woodpecker in Madera Canyon in southeast Arizona. This was one of the first times I had ever seen the species and I spent a long time watching it!

I photographed this Acorn Woodpecker in Madera Canyon in southeast Arizona. This was one of the first times I had ever seen the species, and I spent a long time watching it!

Acorn Woodpeckers will store thousands of acorns and one member of their family group is always on guard to make sure a thief doesn't steal the stash!

Acorn Woodpeckers will store thousands of acorns, and one member of their family group is always on guard to make sure a thief doesn’t steal the stash!

I had studies so many birds from my trip to Costa Rica that I forgot that I might see Acorn Woodpeckers and I was quite surprised to see them coming to a feeder in the San Gerardo de Gota Valley. I was also shocked to see them eating cooked rice at the feeder!

I had studied so many birds in preparation for my trip to Costa Rica that I forgot that I might see Acorn Woodpeckers, and I was quite surprised to see them coming to a feeder in the San Gerardo de Gota Valley. I was also shocked to see them eating cooked rice at the feeder!

 

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