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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Blue Jays Hiding Peanuts For Later


I was watching a pair of blue jays go after a small pile of peanuts left for squirrels.

The pair would alternate, each taking a peanut and flying off. At first we presumed they were taking them to a tree to eat, but it became clear that they were working their way through the peanut pile too quickly. They were storing them for later.

This was confirmed when we saw one of the jays take a peanut, fly about 10 feet, and put it down near a neighbors house, and come right back. No eating, just saving for later.

The Cornell Lab for Ornithology says "Blue Jays hold food items in feet while pecking them open. They store food in caches to eat later," and also "Their fondness for acorns and their accuracy in selecting and burying acorns that have not been infested with weevils are credited with spreading oak trees after the last glacial period."

When you see an old oak tree, thank a blue jay!

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"...thank a blue jay!" and company

Blue jays are common in my backyard. I see different birds but the blue jays and cardinals (redbird) are my favorites. They simply add beautiful color in motion. I am compelled to stop what I'm doing just to stand and follow their movements.
(I should not leave out robins and blackbirds.)

 

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