Caching Time Is Here!
Being Seasonally Savvy: Cashing in on Caching
Right now chickadees, nuthatches, and jays are hiding food to retrieve and eat later this season. This behavior is called “caching.” Caching helps birds survive during bad weather and when food sources are low. Each seed is placed in a different location and they generally remember where each one is..
By providing a foundational feeder filled with their favorite foods, you can help your birds with their caching needs. Research has shown that a consistent and reliable source of food helps birds to build body fat reserves and helps to maintain a healthy body condition.
Jays love to cache peanuts, sunflower seeds, acorns and pine nuts. They are especially fond of peanuts in the shell. They bury them in the ground and can empty a feeder in no time. Watch for them make repeated trips to your feeders (or an oak or pine tree) and fly off. They can travel up to two miles to bury their nutritious treasure.
Chickadees prefer to cache black oil sunflower seeds; often eating a small portion before hiding it in and under bark, dead leaves, knotholes, clusters of pine needles, gutters, or under shingles.
Nuthatches prefer heavier sunflower seeds over the lighter ones. Be sure to have some sunflower chips in your blend, too, as they like these 25% more than ones in the shell. They prefer to hide foods on deeply furrowed tree trunks and the underside of branches.