Acorn Woodpecker

photo by Phil Swanson

Melanerpes formicivorus
L 9″ (23 cm)

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Distinctive, raucous “JA-cob, JA-cob.″

Description: Male has a black chin; yellowish throat; white cheeks and forehead; red cap; light eyes; black nape, back, wings, and tail; white belly; and heavy dark streaking on breast and flanks.
Female similar but with a smaller bill and less red on the crown. In flight, conspicuous white rump and small white patches on the outer wings are visible.

Habitat: Found in open oak and pine-oak forests where oak trees are abundant.

Where in Nebraska: Accidental. One seen at a feeder in Holt County during May of 1996.

Field Notes: Range appears to be expanding.

Fun Facts: The Acorn Woodpecker will use human-made structures to store acorns, drilling holes in fenceposts, utility poles, buildings and even automobile radiators.

Acorn Woodpecker - photo by Phil Swanson Acorn Woodpecker - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)