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Something Wild: How Scatter Hoarders Prepare for Winter

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  • Something Wild: How Scatter Hoarders Prepare for Winter

    You may be familiar with hoarders (not the TV show, but same idea). In nature, a hoarder will hide food in one place. Everything it gathers will be stored in a single tree or den. But for some animals one food cache isn't enough. We call them scatter hoarders. A "scatter hoarder" hides food in a bunch of different places within its territory. The gray squirrel is a classic example, gathering acorns and burying them in trees or in the ground. Not all squirrels are hoarders. Red squirrels are "larder hoarders." If you've ever been walking through the woods and a red squirrel starts screaming at you, it's defending its one and only stash. The same goes for chipmunks and white-footed mice. The gray squirrel isn't alone in the practice of scatter hoarding. Blue jays and gray jays will spend the summer accosting hikers, filling itself with as much granola or fruit as it can. They bring their bounty back into the forest and glue the food into crevices of the trees with its saliva. I know, who

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