Friday, September 30, 2011

Acorn Woodpecker

An Acorn Woodpecker, Yosemite, National Park, CA; 6/17/2009.
One of our best trips within the past few years took us out to the iconic Yosemite National Park. Within minutes of getting out of the car on our first day in Yosemite Valley, a woodpecker (Above) landed in a dead tree just yards from where we were admiring Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls.  I had no idea what kind of woodpecker it was. Later, after returning to our campground, I pulled out a copy of my National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, I figured out that it was an Acorn Woodpecker.
The same female Acorn Woodpecker in Yosemite Valley.
As one can see by the numerous tell-tale holes bored into this dead tree (Above), it must have been a favorite spot for this Acorn Woodpecker.  These woodpeckers are found along the Pacicic Coast States of Oregon and California, as well as in Arizona, New Mexico, the extreme Southwest corner of Texas and into Mexico. They are year round residents in these states as they do not migrate. Both males and females have a glossy bluish/black body with a white belly, black breast, yellow/white throat, a white wing patch and rump, and the wide bold white eye ring. Both have red crowns, however, the male's stretch all the way to the its white forehead, while the female's red crown doesn't connect with the white forehead but is separated by a black forecrown.

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, the view we were looking at, when the Acorn Woodpecker entered my life; Yosemite Nat. Park, CA; 6/17/2009.

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