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122   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

try to get out of sight and hearing of others. From hiding himself and his booty it is not a long step to more or less cover up what he could not then eat. To hide it from eyes would not be so important to him as to hide it from noses. Smelling was more to be feared than seeing ; to bury it would seem to the owner the way to best protect it. Such a habit would be of immense benefit to the possesser of it. Such habit could be easily formed, it seems to me. It is certain that different families of animals practise it and profit by it. A good instance of it in birds may be seen in the California wood-peckers. In the autumn they make small shallow holes in the thick bark of pine-trees ; into each one they crowd an acorn till it is about level with the bark. I have seen hundreds of them on a single tree. These woodpeckers do not, as a rule, eat acorns. I have watched in vain to see them do it. The explanation is probably to be found by referring the habit to distant ancestors, not yet fully woodpeckers, who did store acorns for food, and to them it was of great value. The habit has outlasted its use.

The squirrel family and their near relatives the gophers are noted for carrying away stores for future use, and our striped squirrels do the


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