Acorn woodpeckers create pantries of acorns for future meals in old oak trees in Sonoma County


Are we the only animals who plan meals ahead? Surprisingly, no.

And there’s a fundamentally good reason to go feasting when the leaves turn. It’s in our genes.

And, surprise — we’re not the only animal with a clever strategy to avoid hunger in the dark months.

Red capped black and white Acorn Woodpecker clinging to a tree holding an acorn in its beak, ready to store it.
Acorn Woodpecker Photo: Ingrid Taylar

It needs — a plan, a strategy.

Wide, old oak tree broken and falling, in a hillside in Sonoma county
Ancient native oak woodlands near Sebastopol, Ragel Ranch Regional park. Like many in California, oak groves are being lost, and all the life they support is at risk as well.