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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Another Backyard Bird

The tufted titmouse, Baeolophus bicolor, is a frequent visitor to my seed feeder, summer and winter. Males and females look alike, so this one could be either. The crested head and big dark eyes make it adorable, right? Click to enlarge.
Tufted titmice hoard seeds against the uncertainties of finding food in winter. They are "scatter hoarders" that tuck seeds away in numerous small caches, an approach that gives some insurance against catastrophic pilferage by raiders. They hide seeds under bark and in tree crotches and similar places. I see them taking seed after seed, one at a time, flying away and then flying back for more.
Birds that hoard seeds like tufted titmice are famous for having well developed spatial memories that allow them to remember hundred to thousands of hiding places. Smart!
I'm a scatter hoarder, too.

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