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Some West Coast Characters

ACORN WOODPECKERS (Melanerpes formicivorus) These characters you'll have to go to California to see, mostly; maybe Oregon, Arizona and Nevada. They live in colonies and are polygamous. They live mostly on acorns, which they gather in the fall and stash in holes drilled in dead wood;, utility poles, and wherever. Kaufman reports a single snag or tree "may be used for generations and may be riddled with up to 50,000 holes."* Their basic markings are a clear black back with red on the crown; a white eye surrounded by black; a white forehead and cheek.

*Kenn Kaufman. Lives of North American Birds. Houghton Mifflin (New York: 1996). page 358.

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) evidently migrating (from Canada and the northwest states and Great Lakes, to Texas, Mexico and the southwest, with a few year-round in central California and Florida.) This fellow is headed for the restaurant porch at Bodega Bay, CA.

California Gulls, 1; Black Oystercatcher, 0.
Mendocino area, CA.

Pictures courtesy of Doris Sutter, San Rafael, CA.

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