Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker
Melanerpes formicivorus

Acorn woodpeckers are common in the Bay Area wherever oak trees are found. They use their sharp bills to drill holes in trees, where they store their favorite food—acorns. A family of acorn woodpeckers may use a single tree to store all of its acorns, sometimes as many as 50,000 per tree!

Woodpeckers’ specialized feet with two toes up and two down—called zygodactylus—help them climb up and down trees.

We have two resident acorn woodpeckers, one male and one female.

The male was found injured as a young bird in 1994 in Stockton, California and taken to a wildlife hospital for treatment. Although he eventually healed from his injuries, he became habituated to people and could not be released. He has lived at Lindsay Wildlife since 1995.

The female was brought to our wildlife hospital in 2004. She was born blind. Female acorn woodpeckers can be identified by the black band between the red and yellow on their heads.

They live off-exhibit and are very popular in school tours, classes, and exhibit hall presentations.