As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Meet the Bird that Filled an Antenna With Acorns

A viral video shows technicians clearing a huge cache of acorns from a transmission tower. 

By Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic 

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.

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