【Series】Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (5) Eurasian nuthatch

Eurasian nuthatch looking for nut pieces

On a chilly early morning, at a shrine in the Tokachi region where large trees over a century old dazzle the eye, a Eurasian nuthatch came into sight.
At a spot where a Hokkaido red squirrel was a few minutes ago, the Eurasian nuthatch uses its beak skillfully to pick up fallen leaves. It is seemingly looking for insects to eat, but actually it is looking for a bit of the nuts that the Hokkaido red squirrel dropped when it was eating. The Eurasian nuthatch had been observing very closely what the Hokkaido red squirrel was doing from far away.
The approximately 13-centimeter Eurasian nuthatch is a highly intelligent wild bird, and it stores small nuts in tree bark crevices. This is unusual for a bird, but it can descend trees head-first, and has the special ability to hide its food well in places unreachable to other wild birds.
In a season when autumn colored leaves are blown away by the north wind and forest insects disappear, hidden food comes in handy.