4 Comments

  1. Debra Brown
    Debra Brown July 1, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I always wondered what those birds were, and now I know! Thanks Ray!
    Best,
    Debra

  2. Arla Hile
    Arla Hile July 2, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Haha! I did my master’s on Stellar’s Jays, and part of my PhD research on Clark’s Nutcrackers, here’s a funny and true story:

    while I was in grad school, our professor challenged one of the students in the lab to match the memory feats of the nutcrackers. We let the birds bury 20 or so pine nuts in a very large room that had trees, dirt and what not in it, and had the grad student do the same. The challenge was for bird and man to return to the room 4 months later to find the seeds. We knew the birds really loved pine nuts and were therefore motivated to find them, and of course this task mimicked what the birds do in nature. The student should have had more brain power than the bird (right?), but just to provide equal motivation, the wise professor promised the student a bottle of beer for each seed he could find! It was going to be a party!

    Four months later, the bird performed well, easily and quickly finding almost all of the pine nuts. The graduate student was sure he was going home with a case of beer! Alas, the student failed to find a single nut, and had to buy his own beers that night. The lesson is not to underestimate animals in their own area of expertise!

    Cheers,
    Arla

  3. Wildlife on the Trail
    Wildlife on the Trail February 24, 2015 at 3:44 am

    […] Nutcracker. The real treat of seeing this bird came later when I did some research about it. It is quite the story! (Be sure to read Aria’s comment, […]

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