Laura’s Birding Blog site: Acorn Woodpecker in Minnesota!


On July 2, Russell Stewart was watching out at his feeder when what to his asking yourself eyes must show up however a noticeably gorgeous woodpecker that he really did not acknowledge. He checked out his guidebook as well as absolutely nothing that might be located in Minnesota matched it. The one types that did suit belongs greater than 1,200 miles from his Carlton Area house: an Acorn Woodpecker!

Acorn Woodpecker in Minnesota!

The Acorn Woodpecker is an interesting bird with a clown-like face coming from the exact same category, Melanerpes, as our Red-bellied as well as Red-headed Woodpeckers. Unlike those loved ones, the Acorn Woodpecker lives communally. Each bird comes from an area, looking for as well as saving food in common granaries that the whole area shares.

Acorn Woodpecker granary
I took this picture in southerly The golden state. (Unless a subtitle states or else, all the images on this message were taken of Russell Stewart’s Acorn Woodpecker.)

This common life reaches nesting. A solitary nesting area includes 2 mates: several associated women in one as well as several associated men in the various other. Concerning 1– 4 women as well as 1– 8 men are dog breeders, as well as 1– 10 various other birds, pertaining to the dog breeders, are assistants. As a result of these one-of-a-kind behaviors as well as due to the fact that numerous Acorn Woodpecker neighborhoods are comfortably situated near The golden state colleges as well as universities, an excellent numerous scientists have actually rather extensively examined the types.

Acorn Woodpecker in Minnesota!

Acorn Woodpeckers have 2 unique arrays in the USA: in western-most Oregon as well as much of The golden state, as well as in eastern Arizona, western New Mexico, as well as a little southwestern Texas.

I have actually seen Acorn Woodpeckers often times, primarily in The golden state as well as Arizona, however likewise in New Mexico as well as at Large Bend National Forest in Texas, as well as in Mexico as well as Costa Rica, however up until Russell Stewart’s bird showed up, I would certainly never ever seen one outside the types’ typical array. Acorn Woodpeckers are taken into consideration non-migratory besides one populace near the Huachuca Hills of southeastern Arizona, where not nearly enough acorns expand yearly to supply a huge adequate winter season supply for every area. These birds barely move to Minnesota– they head southern, most likely to Mexico’s Sierra Madre.

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Birds have wings as well as each person has some firm over its very own life, so private migratory as well as also non-migratory birds periodically show up well out of array. There are 2 previous documents of Acorn Woodpeckers in Minnesota: one showed up at Crow Wing State Park near Brainerd on November 9, 2009, as well as one at a residence in Detroit Lakes on September 14, 2016. Those birds weren’t what birders call “chasable”– they were seen just a solitary day each, so birders that could have searched for them afterwards eventually would not have actually prospered.

Acorn Woodpecker in Minnesota!

If Russell Stewart’s Acorn Woodpecker complied with that pattern, we ‘d most likely never ever recognize that it had actually shown up in Minnesota whatsoever. The day after he initially observed it, Russell Stewart obtained excellent sufficient images to validate his recognition, as well as valuing simply exactly how phenomenal it was for an Acorn Woodpecker to show up in the state, he authorized up for eBird simply to report it. In much less than a hr, Kim Eckert showed up at his area to seek it. Kim is the initial birder ever before to have actually seen greater than 400 types in Minnesota as well as leads the state in birds seen. He advised Russell Stewart that a great deal of various other birders were most likely to show up, as well as indeed!

I could not escape that day or the following, however by the early morning of July 5 when I lastly arrived with my close friend Paula Lozano, at the very least 100 birders had actually come down upon Russell Stewart’s residence. The substantial bulk of birders are really considerate towards home owners holding an uncommon bird, as well as I enjoy to state that the ones that showed up at Russell Stewart’s measured up to that credibility for politeness. A lot of home owners are rather respectful to birders in return, however Russell Stewart went much, much past simple politeness. When I arrived, the bird remained in a birch tree in his lawn, as well as a lot of birders were standing ideal alongside his deck, with Russell Stewart himself seeing to it every person saw it. He had actually done his research, clarifying that although this bird had a huge red area on the crown, she was a woman. All Acorn Woodpeckers have a huge white face spot. The red crown on men expands completely to this spot.

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Acorn Woodpecker
I photographed this man at the feeding terminal at Cavern Creek Lodge in southeastern Arizona in 2013.

The red crown on women is divided from the white face by a black temple.

Acorn Woodpecker in Minnesota!

While I existed, the bird flew to the feeder for some sunflower seeds.

Acorn Woodpecker in Minnesota!

After that she flew to the spruce trees along Russell Stewart’s driveway where I took a great deal of images.

Acorn Woodpecker in Minnesota!

Acorn Woodpecker in Minnesota!

Acorn Woodpecker in Minnesota!

She went back to the birch, back to the feeder, and afterwards flew to the timbers beyond of the roadway. I invested a long time being familiar with Russell Stewart, and afterwards Paula as well as I headed back to community.

Russell Stewart, who found the Acorn Woodpecker on his property
Russell Stewart, the creator of the banquet

Regarding I recognize, Wednesday was the last time the bird showed up. It’s difficult to recognize which instructions she avoided in. If a women Acorn Woodpecker shows up anywhere else in the Midwest this summer season, there’ll be a sensible opportunity that it’s this set, however she had not been grouped, so there is no other way we can ever before be specific.

It’s constantly remarkable when a bird shows up up until now from its house, as well as thrilling to be able to see it, specifically when we have a sensible hope that it was healthy and balanced as well as has a likelihood of going back to its all-natural array. It’s tough to recognize what sent this bird our means. Was it among the fires that are damaging numerous The golden state trees recently? The awful dry spell in the Southwest? That’s one more point we’ll never ever recognize– she had not been chatting.

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Acorn Woodpecker in Minnesota!

Yet we do recognize for specific that women Acorn Woodpecker showed up for 4 remarkable days at Russell Stewart’s residence in Carlton Area, as well as many thanks to his kindness as well as friendliness, after finding out that birders as well as the ornithological area at huge would certainly would like to know concerning such a rarity as well as sharing it on eBird, a host of birders, including me, reached appreciate this phenomenal bird, also.

Acorn Woodpecker in Minnesota!
You can check out John Myers’s Duluth Information Tribune tale concerning Russell Stewart’s Acorn Woodpecker below

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