NUTHATCH STASH - A Nuthatch stashes a shelled sunflower seed in a bark crevice. The process is called caching. By storing seeds, the birds ensure they will have something to eat later when food is scarce. Caching has long been of interest to ornithologists and animal behaviorists, and their research has taught us some amazing things about the behavior and the birds that perform it.
In a 1984 paper in Animal Behavior, David Sherry reported the results of lab experiments which demonstrated that black-capped chickadees can not only remember where they have stored seeds, but also which caches they have already eaten, which caches they have discovered eaten by other animals, and which caches contain their favorite food items. Sherry also found that chickadees can remember the locations of their caches for 28 days after they have created them.