14 October 2021
Now that winter’s coming, birds are migrating to find favorable habitat and reliable food supplies. Those that eat seeds don’t have to leave if food is plentiful, especially if they cache seeds and nuts.
Caching is like a giant game of concentration. … A bird must not only fly back and forth, one or a few seeds at a time, over hundreds of trips. They also have to make sure the caches aren’t stolen and remember where all the food is hidden when hunger comes a-calling. Most common North American feeder birds can have anywhere from hundreds to thousands of separate caches scattered around their home ranges.— All About Birds: Where is that bird going with that seed...?
Chickadees, nuthatches, red-bellied woodpeckers, and blue jays all use feeders as a source for the cache, visiting quickly to grab a nut. They even compete for the privilege. “Back off!” says the red-bellied woodpecker to the blue jay.
Work quickly! It’s time to store food.
(photo from Wikimedia Commons, video embedded from MyBackyardBirding on YouTube)