Chalk this up in things I didn’t know were possible…
Back in 2009, AT&T California was perplexed when one of their transmission towers suddenly wasn’t emitting signal anymore. Its strength had been weakening for a little bit, but it appeared the antenna had finally kicked and needed some maintenance.
When they arrived, technicians were surprised to see the antenna cover bulging, apparently stuffed with, well… they didn’t know but it was obviously a lot of something.
When they inspected it closer, it turned out the antenna had mysteriously been completely filled with an insane amount of acorns.
In fact, around 300 POUNDS of acorns were collected, somewhere between 35 to 50 gallons, which begs the obvious question… who did this?
Of course, squirrels are known to collect acorns while preparing for winter and, given the area’s heavily restricted access, a high school practical joke was very unlikely, so our fuzzy-tailed friends took the initial blame for the stockpile.
But ornithologists were quick to put forward their own explanation, and while it makes sense given the typical behaviors of their culprit, it does make the stock pile seem quite a bit larger.
Walter Koenig, a senior scientist at Cornell’s Laboratory of Ornithology told National Geographic he’s pretty sure an Acorn Woodpecker was to blame…
“They’re pretty famous for finding places to hide acorns”
While the birds are typically known for being the only species that buries acorns in individual holes in tree trunks, more than a few times they’ve been found having massive stashes just like this one.
The acorn woodpecker averages around 8 inches in length and 3 ounces in weight, meaning this bird’s stash was 1,600 times it’s bodyweight.
1,600 times… That’s like me keeping 288,000 pounds of food in the kitchen just in case…
Fortunately for us, the technicians were smart enough to get a great video of the acorns being emptied from the antenna. It’s extraordinarily impressive the sheer amount that were in there.
Acorn woodpeckers… just another really cool animal out there.