[Tweeters] Stellars jay pilfers a squirrel cache

Rob Sandelin floriferous at msn.com
Thu Dec 18 11:36:17 PST 2008


With eight inches of snow today the bird feeder is a happening scene. As I
refilled the feeder I dumped a bunch of seed on the ground and a Douglas
squirrel has spent the morning caching seed. It must be its first winter
because hops over grabs a sunflower seed and does about 4 hops, which covers
maybe 4 feet, then it tucks the seed into the hole in the snow. Over and
over again it bounces back and forth, industriously caching food. A
Steller's Jay sits on a nearby branch watching the whole show and after
several minutes of contemplation it joins the fray, swooping down with a
flourish of wings. The squirrel dashes for cover and the jay leisurely
strolls over to the seed cache, and in a few minutes gobbles up the
squirrels work, much to the consternation of the worker who sits on a low
branches yelling out insults at the thief.

The jay departs and the squirrel goes back to work only to have the whole
thing repeated about 15 minutes later. I am now wondering if this will go
on all day or will the squirrel eventually wise up? A great study project
out the window on a snowy day.

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer, Teacher
Snohomish County, WA
NW natural history at:
http://share3.esd105.wednet.edu/rsandelin/NWnature/NWNature.htm
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