Valparaiso, Indiana

Lora & Kit MacLean

We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.

Valparaiso, Indiana

2902 Calumet Ave
Valparaiso, IN 46383

Phone: (219) 465-0508
Fax: (219) 462-7345
Email: Send Message

Store Hours:
Mon - Fri: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Providing Food Now Will Help Later

During fall and winter, chickadees, nuthatches and titmice will hide food to retrieve and eat at a later time. This behavior is called "caching." Caching helps birds survive during bad weather and when food sources are low.

These birds store hundreds of seeds a day, and each seed is placed in a different location and they remember where each one is. They can find each site accurately even a month later.

By providing an easily accessible food source, you can help your chickadees, nuthatches and titmice with their caching needs. Below is a little more detail on some of your favorite birds' caching behaviors.


Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Chickadees

  • Cache seeds (in the shell and out), nuts, insects and other invertebrate prey
  • Food is typically cached within 130 feet (40 m) from feeders
  • Cache more during the middle of the day
  • May carry off several seeds at a time, but each item is stored in a separate location
  • Store food in knotholes, bark, under shingles, in the ground and on the underside of small branches

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Nuthatches

  • Prefer to cache hulled sunflower seeds, because they are easier and faster to cache; occasionally mealworms
  • Choose heavier seeds (because they are larger or have a higher oil content)
  • Food is typically cached about 45 feet (13.5 m) from feeders
  • Most active caching time is early in the day
  • Store food in bark crevices on large tree trunks and on the underside of branches

Tufted Titmouse

Titmice

  • Cache sunflower, peanuts and safflower
  • Food is typically cached within 130 feet (40 m) from feeders
  • Cache one seed at a time and typically choose the largest seeds available
  • Often remove seeds from their shell (80% of the time) before hiding them