Woodpeckers are beautiful birds and are fascinating to watch. We have several smaller sized woodpeckers that visit our feeders. However, I saw a huge woodpecker one day that was feasting on a tree stump and is was a fabulous bird.
Woodpeckers change their diets according to what food sources are most abundant. Sap is a popular food in the spring when few other foods are available but rich, sweet sap is rising in trees reawakening after a long winter. In the spring and summer, these birds feast primarily on insects that provide high levels of protein for breeding birds and growing hatchlings. In the fall, nuts, seeds, and fruit are popular foods for woodpeckers because of plentiful natural harvests. In the winter, seeds and nuts are the most abundant foods, as well as some leftover fruit that remains on sturdy bushes or trees.
In addition to varying their food choices by season, some species will even store foods for colder months when supplies are scarce. The acorn woodpecker, for example, creates extensive granary trees to hold hundreds or thousands of acorns. Smaller woodpeckers may hide seeds or dead insects under loose bits of bark, or even bury them in the ground to retrieve later if fresher foods aren't available.
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