700 pounds of walnuts found in California vacation rental by acorn woodpecker
Woodpeckers piled more than 700 pounds of acorns 20 to 25 feet high in the chimney of a California home.
Santa Rosa exterminator Nick Castro made the discovery during a December vacation rental inspection for mealworms in Glen Ellen, Calif., according to the Press Democrat.
When Castro punched a hole in a bedroom wall, 700 pounds of acorns rushed out.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Castro, owner of Nick’s Extreme Pest Control, told the outlet. “The more acorns I removed from the wall, the more there were. I felt like it wasn’t going to end. »
A pair of acorn woodpeckers, known for hoarding large amounts of acorns, had punched holes in the chimney of the two-story house, Castro told the Press Democrat.
He estimated that the woodpeckers added to the stock for two to five years.
When woodpeckers hid acorns behind the house’s moldings and destroyed its wood siding, the previous owners wrapped the house in vinyl, which ultimately didn’t stop these advantageous woodpeckers from claiming the house for free storage. oak nuts.
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Castro’s crew filled eight garbage bags filled with the birds’ treasure. Because the acorns were covered in fiberglass and rat droppings, the bags were so heavy that Castro’s crew could barely pick them up, he joked.
Although acorn woodpeckers, found in the evergreen oak and mixed-oak forests of the West Coast and Southwest, typically harvest nuts from dead trees, these birds may also select locations unusual for storage, Castro said — especially as they adapt to changing landscapes. .
Camille Fine is a Trending Visual Producer on USA TODAY’s NOW Team.
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