Jays and nuthatches are two birds which will take food and store it away for a “rainy day”. This is known as caching and is a way for the birds to set up an insurance plan for when food sources are harder to come by during the winter months.
Jays have an distensible esophagus which allows them to carry a huge amount of food away from the bird feeder to hide away in the undergrowth and trees. I’ve personally counted one take 23 peanuts in one visit.
Researchers believe that jays can bury up to 5000 items of food a year and have a 70% retrieval record. In the case of the acorns they collect and bury the ones they fail to retrieve are responsible for the spread of oak trees! I wonder if somewhere in the woods wild peanut plants are growing?
Nuthatches tend to be single item cachers and will wedge items of food into crevices in trees or into the bark for later. Both birds are also known to rob the caches of others by watching where the food is hidden and then moving in to steal it.
The food caches will be spread out within the birds home range so they don’t put all their eggs in one basket and to also increase the chances of not being robbed. If they think they have been watched whilst caching food they may move it and re-hide it again to protect their stash.
So the next time your watching a jay stuff its face with peanuts it’s not just being a greedy bird it’s actually planning ahead.
I recently entered a photo competition and just found out today that my picture is one of the winners and will appear in a 2018 calendar. The photo was for South Pennines’ Through the Lens Photographic Competition and my shot called Choices will be the June photo.
After trying out our star photography we moved on to painting with light using long exposure times and the torch on a mobile phone.
A shout out to MUM
Who am I?
Obviously boys being boys there were some childish images drawn which raised a lot of laughs but aren’t for a family friendly blog!!!!
My youngest son has recently started a photography GCSE and asked if we could go and try and take some shots of the night sky. We decided to make a trip of it and headed for the Brecon Beacons which has dark sky status. They eldest son decided he wanted to come so a road trip was organised.
I’ve never done any night photography so a little bit of research was undertaken but it was pretty much a learning experience and we weren’t really helped with an almost full moon and scudding clouds.
The first thing you notice is how little we can actually see as there were only a couple of stars visible to the naked eye but when you let the camera look it’s quite mind blowing what we miss.
It was fun snapping the planes that came across while we were out.
Our pictures won’t win any awards but we learn’t quite a bit and also realised it was a work in progress.