Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus: Madera Canyon, Arizona
Acorn Woodpeckers are very social birds living in large groups, a descent of woodpeckers, in western oak woodlands. Santa Rita Lodge in Madera Canyon, Arizona is an excellent place to see this magnificent species up-close and personal. They are regular visitors to the feeders at the lodge and have no fear of humans. They can also be seen throughout the area forest gathering acorn to stash in the group's larder tree. There, at the larder tree they drill holes, just large enough to tightly hold a single acorn, which they tap into the hole. The larder trees provide a supply of food through lean times. I have seen a few larder trees in the past, but have never photographed one. Hopefully this year I will find and photograph one with birds at the tree.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 500mm f/4 with 1.4 converter, 1/50 second @ f/6.3