Acorn Woodpecker

Photo Credit: Keith Kohl, ODFW


  • Species Common Name Acorn Woodpecker
  • Species Scientific Name Melanerpes formicivorus
  • Federal Listing Status Species of Concern
  • State Listing Status Sensitive


Special needs

Acorn Woodpeckers prefer oak woodlands with high canopies and relatively open understories. They are dependent upon dead limbs or snags for storing acorns.

Limiting factors

Loss of oak woodlands, particularly in the Willamette Valley, poses a major threat to Acorn Woodpeckers and other oak habitat specialists. Remaining birds persist locally and in small numbers. Acorn Woodpeckers also compete with European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) for nesting cavities in some areas.

Conservation actions

Work with private landowners to maintain and restore oak woodlands with open understories, especially in large patches. Maintain snags and older trees with dead limbs.

Key reference or plan

Land Manager's Guide to Bird Habitat and Populations in Oak Ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest