Posted by: atowhee | December 8, 2019

WATCHING MELANERPES

From my birding friend Karl Schneck near Ashland in Jackson County.  Here’s his response to my blog about the leucistic Acorn Woodpecker.

Karl sent me these photos of his local Lewis’s, a Melanerpes closely related, DNA-wise, to the Acorn:

Interesting that the ACWO is storing the mast without the outer shell since I believe they are the only woodpeckers that drill holes and store the entire acorn. I’ve been watching the LEWO at my house store only the mast in cracks and crevices of the oaks and the utility pole. Attached are some photos of the LEWO and some of his winter supply of acorn mast. I help out the LEWO by putting acorns on top of the fence posts near his favorite perch on the utility pole. I’ve noticed he likes to open the acorns either on top of the posts or on one of the crossbars at the top of the utility pole where he can find a good surface to hammer away at the acorns.

Here is his sequence of Lewis’s Woodpecker photos from his place in Jackson County.  The Lewises do winter there but do not breed in the county as far as we know.  They do breed along the Klamath River north of Yreka across the border in California.  They are gregarious but don’t breed in a single nest like their near cousins, the Acorn Woodpecker, also a Melanerpes.

The Lewis is our one woodpecker in North America…with…can you guess?  No white feathers…and our only bird with truye pink.  Wowzee.


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