(verb) To save or store food for a future use.
(noun) A hidden food storage area.
Many bird species store food as a precaution against sparse food supplies in winter months. Stored foods include nuts and seeds such as acorns, peanuts, pine nuts and sunflower seeds. Caching typically takes place in the late summer and fall months when these foods are abundant, and birds will visit their stored seeds whenever food is scarce.
The location of caches will vary depending on the bird’s habitat. Popular storage areas include seeds and nuts wedged into the bark of trees or beneath house eaves or shingles, and many birds will cache food by burying it or covering it with leaves or mulch. In forested areas, birds are often responsible for helping tree growth from their stored nuts and seeds.
Bird species that frequently cache foods include jays, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, magpies, crows and ravens.