Acorn Woodpecker

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The Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) packs acorns (and sometimes walnuts and almonds, though not in Yosemite) so tightly into holes in trees that squirrels can't pry them out. They use these as emergency provisions for when they can't get other food, but on mild winter days, they will nab insects if they can get them. The colony will use the same holes in the same tree year after year, which means that the big dead Ponderosa stump in Cooks Meadow near the Sentinel Bridge is an excellent place to see Acorn Woodpeckers. The colony there, in the autumn of 2006, consisted of about six individuals who can indeed be seen making quick flights off their perches to pluck insects from the air.

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