Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Callo, Paul Alexander URN etd-11182008-063011 Title Recovery of cached food by captive blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) Degree Master of Science Department Biology Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Adkisson, Curtis S. Committee Chair Jenssen, Thomas A. Committee Member Prestrude, Albert M. Committee Member Keywords
- food caching
- spatial memory
- seed dispersal
- blue jay
Date of Defense 1996-04-24 Availability unrestricted AbstractCorvids are important seed and nut dispersers in North America.
To date, the caching and recovery behaviors of four North American
Corvids have been documented, most notably Clark's Nutcracker
(Nucifraga columbiana). Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) are important
dispersers of Quercus, Fagus, and Castanea nuts in eastern North
America and their caching behavior in the wild has been well
documented. Recovery of caches by the same individual Blue Jay that
created the caches has not been demonstrated. In order to do this, I
conducted a laboratory study in which I examined caching and recovery
behaviors. I ·compared the performance of caching birds with noncaching
birds and with a random foraging model. Blue Jays do return to
their own caches with success rates higher than predicted by random
searching and they also probe fewer sites than predicted by random.
They also recover caches at success rates higher than non-caching
birds searching for the same caches as well as probe fewer sites than
the non-caching birds. There is a difference in probing patterns for
recovered caches between caching birds and non-caching birds that
suggests the use of spatial memory by caching birds and a difference in foraging strategies between the two groups. Cache recovery order does
not exhibit either a primacy or recency effect and cache recovery order
does not appear to correlate to nearest neighbor distance models.
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