Portrait of the Juvenile Acorn Woodpecker

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Acorn Woodpeckers () nest on my property here in Northern California. They are conspicuous, gregarious and a joy to watch. Click on photos for full sized images.

This woodpecker is a cooperative breeder and lives in family groups of up to a dozen or more individuals. This is an adult male sticking his head out of a natural cavity in a Gray Pine snag. Note the eye color.

Juvenile (Melanerpes formicivorus) photo by

Acorn Woodpecier Adult Male

These family groups forage together and the adults always bring their young to my feeding station and water feature to teach them the finer details of what it is to be an Acorn Woodpecker. This is their typical call.

The young Acorn Woodpecker, like thisyoungster approaching the water feature for a drink, begins its life with dark irises.

Acorn Woodpecker Juvenile

He’s not sure of what he is doing but their are several adults nearby watching him and calling to him.

Acorn Woodpecker Juvenile

The juvenile’s scarlet crown extends from its nape to its white forehead patch, similar to the adult male’s.

Acorn Woodpecker Juvenile

Here you can see the white upper tail coverts and conspicuous wing patches that are most obvious during flight.

Acorn Woodpecker Juvenile

The dark eyes of the young fledgling quickly lighten to the sky blue seen in the top photograph and by the end of the its prebasic molt (2 to 4 months post fledging) the irises are pale yellow to white like the adult’s.

These photos of the dark eyed bird were taken just three weeks before the top photo, which I believe is the same individual juvenile bird.

Acorn Woodpecker Juvenile

It’s quite the transformation don’t you think?

Acorn Woodpecker Juvenile

This is a video I took a few years ago of several Acorn Woodpeckers clowning around at my feeding station.

Also check out the great video by National Geographic on the Acorn Woodpecker and their nut stashing at the top right of the page.

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

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Subramaniam Dharana

Great portrait of Acorn . Keep it up.