Monday, October 26, 2015

Pin oaks and birds

I remember seeing a bird talk that dissed pin oaks as being a trash species because it was not important to birds. This was in the southeast and pin/willow oaks are super abundant when you don't have fire. So, for some time, I just didn't like them.

But I've made a 180 on pin oaks and I realize they are hugely important to a number of birds in the northeast US (and probably elsewhere pin oak occurs) and probably host a number of invertebrates and other unpopular but crucial species. 

Today I spent an hour on the roof of Cohen and had three species come by. Blue Jays were there grabbing and flying off with several acorns in their crop. The one group of jays was coming from the other side of the Darte Center, which is 500 m away. They're flying over open areas where they could cache. Perplexing!

Crows ignored me and came by and ate a few acorns and took off. A titmouse looked be pounding an acorn to open it - not sure if it was successful. Last year there was a Red-bellied Woodpecker carrying off acorns. So pin oaks are not the fig trees of the tropics (which are known to be eaten by anything that can make up a tree) but they must be crucial to many birds.

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