Bird Larders – storing up for winter

I’ve been watching birds cache food this week. The days are shorter, and the birds are preparing for the next season. The nuthatches prefer the hulled sunflower, and they’re choosing the heavier seeds as those are the ones higher in fat content. Their activity begins very early in the day. The titmice are taking one seed at a time and seem to cache higher in the trees than the nuthatches. The chickadees are caching in the middle of the day, and their pantry of seeds is in a knothole in a maple.

This caching behavior has its advantages. They’ll retrieve the larder of seed on days when the weather isn’t suitable for them to for forage. Their warehouses are available when the long winter settles upon them and other sources are no longer abundant, and yes, their memories are sharp!

(written by Sue McGrath of Newburyport Birders)

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