It seems this Tufted titmouse (Parus bicolor) may have over-judged his ability to swallow but with a prize that large you can understand his inclination. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers this helpful insight:
- Tufted Titmice hoard food in fall and winter, a behavior they share with many of their relatives, including the chickadees and tits. Titmice take advantage of a bird feeder’s bounty by storing many of the seeds they get. Usually, the storage sites are within 130 feet of the feeder. The birds take only one seed per trip and usually shell the seeds before hiding them.
After reading this helpful tip I watched the birds more closely and, sure enough, they grab a seed (or a nut) and fly quickly away to store the prize and they are back. One enterprising titmouse has begun to stash the bounty in the nooks and crevices of the deck thereby saving time and energy. I have a Turkey Oak nearby that is, no doubt, one of the primary storage spots for the birds. The gnarly bark offers perfect hiding spots although I suspect the squirrels may be finding many of the stash sites. ❧