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Northern Limit of the Acorn Woodpecker

Jared Verner
3 (May-June)
From Field and Study
Online Text:

Northern Limit of the Acorn Woodpecker.-Gabrielson and Jewett (Birds of Oregon, 1940: 374) give Lane County as the northern limit of the Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) in Oregon. Walker (Condor 54, 1952:315) observed a pair on several occasions at Corvallis, and Jewett (Murrelet 33, 1954:14) reported a road-killed Acorn Woodpecker at Salem, Oregon. On three occasions, December 26, 1960, August 17, 1961, and December 29, 1963, I have noted two (presumably paired) Acorn Woodpeckers in The Dalles, Oregon, on the south bank of the Columbia River. On August 16, 1961, a single bird was seen in the same locality. Thii extends the northern limit of the species and is one of very few records of its occurrence east of the Cascade Mountains.

The country around The Dalles supports mixed ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and scrub oak (Quercw sp.), and it is possible that a limited number of Acorn Woodpeckers could breed in the vicinity. Although this species has never been reported from Washington state, habitat similar to that at The Dalles can be found about 15 miles northwest and 30 miles northeast of The Dalles, at White Salmon and Satus Pass, Washington, respectively. A thorough search of these areas is likely to yield the first Washington record of the Acorn Woodpecker.-JARED VERNER, Department of Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, October 6, 1964. 

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