Chickadees are stashing food for the winter!

Peanut Wreaths are so much fun!
Mid-Michigan's chickadees are non-migratory and will be around all winter. New fall and winter flocks have been forming for awhile. Flocks can consist of 2 to 18 birds. Normal suburban flocks range from 6 to 10 birds over a territory of 20 to 50 acres.

From sunrise to sunset, the chickadee spends most of its time foraging. Suet, seeds and nuts provide a lot of calories to produce energy in cold weather. As winter approaches, they begin hiding or caching food for the winter. In a behavior called "scatter-hoarding," chickadees choose a treat and then leave quickly to hide it under tree bark or dead leaves.

The amazing thing is that they can accurately remember the location of each seed they hoard. Not only that, they also remember the quality of items they initially stored, making more of an effort to retrieve the higher quality food.