|View from Woodpecker Trail|
When we first set out to go there, I was way more excited about this trip than many of the other birding trips we’ve had so far because of our target species – the Acorn Woodpecker. This bird, in hippy talk, is what I consider to be my “spirit bird.” I’ve loved this bird from afar for so many years, and honestly thought it would be much a very long time until I’d finally see one, as I didn’t foresee when we’d make it out west. So why is the Acorn Woodpecker my spirit bird? Well, if you don’t already know, Acorn Woodpeckers have a delightful behavior of drilling holes, or using the natural spaces in tree bark, to store huge caches of acorns, and sometimes other nuts. They can fill one tree, called the granary tree, with up to 50,000 holes! Now that’s impressive. Their OCD-like tendency to place acorns into these holes, and then continuing to move them around when the acorns shrink from drying out and get loose, speaks to my quirky, bordering obsessive, tendency of organizing and placing objects in just the right way.
|Woods' Rose, maybe?|
|*Correction: California Poppy|
We observed with awe and amazement these fantastic birds as they flew around the large oaks calling to each other. And we even got a nice glimpse of one of their caches. Since there are plenty of bugs to eat right now (which they actually prefer if they’re available) we didn’t see any acorn storing, but we’ll definitely have to watch them in autumn when they’ll be storing for the winter, showing off their incredible talent for hoarding seeds.
|Acorn Woodpecker acorn cache|