A viral video shows technicians clearing a huge cache of acorns from a transmission tower.
By Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 13, 2015
Squirrels aren’t the only animals that store acorns for winter. Some birds do it, too. And one species in California disrupted a telecommunications network with its storage habits.
The birds stashed their acorns in a wireless antenna in Central California. A video that’s going viral this week shows technicians opening a compartment on the antenna and unleashing a flood of acorns. In all, an estimated 300 pounds (35 to 50 gallons) of nuts fell out.
Walter Koenig, a senior scientist with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, says he’s pretty sure the acorn woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) was behind the cache.
“They’re pretty famous for finding places to hide acorns,” says Koenig, who has studied the bird for years. Koenig says he once saw a traffic signal stuffed so full of acorns that it was unreadable.