Many of the birds that are attracted to garden feeders seem to spend a fair amount of time engaged in ‘Hide and Seek’ around the garden and nearby woodland. Of course to the birds this is no game but an important winter food strategy called caching. Many bird species cache, or store food, during periods of abundance (mostly in the Autumn) for use at times when less food is available such as late winter.
Coal Tits are one those species that has a particular affinity for caching food. Smaller and lighter than many other similar species they use a snatch and grab feeding technique making repeated journeys to and from the garden feeder. Sunflower hearts and kibbled or split peanuts appear to be the food of choice for Coal Tits when it comes to garden feeders. Often they will only move a short distance from the feeder and sit consuming the heart/nut they have grabbed but occasionally throughout Autumn and early Winter you can see them moving off further to stash their chosen morsel in the hope of retrieving it in the months ahead.