In autumn nuthatches harvest and store hundreds of
seeds throughout their territory using each hiding place
only once. They hide seeds behind bark, in cracks and
crevices of tree trunks, or in knotholes. Sometimes, they
even cover the seeds with moss or lichens.
By spreading their food around, a behavior that’s called
scatter-hoarding, food-caching birds help guarantee
their survival by making it less likely their entire
food stash will be raided by other birds.
Blue Jays harvest several thousand acorns each fall
and bury them in the ground. Any acorns the Blue Jays
don’t eat sprout into saplings, so squirrels aren’t
the only ones important to seed dispersal.
To read more about seed-caching birds, get Secret Lives of Common Birds, Enjoying Bird Behavior Through the Seasons, by Marie Read. This book has a lot of interesting bird behavior tid-bits and very beautiful photos.