It’s caching season and many birds are cashing in on the abundance of natural foods for a better chance at surviving the coming harsh weather. And they remember, very accurately, where they stash each morsel.
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, shingles or in the ground. They like to cache seeds within 130 feet of bird feeders; within your yard or a neighbor’s yard. Chickadees cache more in the middle of the day when visiting feeders.
Nuthatches prefer heavier sunflower seeds over the lighter ones. Be sure to have some sunflower chips in your blend as they like these 25% more often than ones in the shell. They cache more in the morning and prefer to hide foods on deeply furrowed tree trunks and the underside of branches. Nuthatches are also known to hide seeds under a shingle or behind wooden siding.
Jays love to cache peanuts. They are especially fond of peanuts in the shell. They bury them in the ground and are known to cache about 100 in a day; emptying a feeder in no time. Watch them make repeated trips to your feeders (or an oak tree) and fly off. Try counting how many small seeds they can stuff into their crop before flying off to cache them. Some have stuffed up to 100 sunflower seeds in one sitting. They can travel up to a few miles away to bury their nutritious treasure.