The Condor/1 (2)/Note on Lewis' Woodpecker
|←Persistent Nesting of the Anna's Hummingbird||The Condor, Volume 1, Issue 2 (1899)
Note on Lewis' Woodpecker
By John M. Welch
|Notes on Audubon's Warbler and the Individuality of Eggs→|
Notes on Lewis' Woodpecker. This woodpecker (Melanerpes torquatus) is interesting from the fact that it is neither a winter nor summer bird in this vicinity, but one of the most industrious foragers I have observed. Last summer there were but few acorns and I failed to notice a single bird though I am told that a few of them appeared but left immediately upon the advent of a spell of exceedingly warm weather. It is my belief that it was not the warm weather, but the lack of acorns that induced them to leave. This summer I observed the first bird during the last week in August and by the first of September they were observed by hundreds in one locality. From the diversity of size and plumage I am certain that the parent birds were accompanied by their broods. Their favorite resort is an eastern slope, wooded with white and live Oak with now and then a bull pine and some clumps of underbrush, chaparral etc. Here there were acorns in abundance and the birds were numerous. They are now greatly diminished in numbers and less clamorous, but scattering birds may be seen in the hills, always haunting the oaks. The little Californian Woodpecker resents the intrusion and may often be seen sprinting after its big cousin, with malice in every movement. I am curious to know where the birds nest and if the acorn forms any part of their food, or whether it is the tender grub which induces them to such industry. Again I would like to know why these birds store up so much food and then leave it for other birds to eat, for certain it is that they are not here to eat it themselves. John M. Welch, Copperopolis, Calaveras Co., Cal. Dec. 18, 1898.