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Mexican bird feeders

The pinyon jay (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) takes its name from the tree, and pinyon nuts form an important part of its diet. It is very important for regeneration of pinyon woods, as it stores large numbers of the seeds in the ground for later use, and excess seeds not used are in an ideal position to grow into new trees. The Mexican jay is also important for the dispersal of some pinyon species, as, less often, is the Clark’s jay.

The Olympia Observer’s person-about-nature, Angel Messinger, relates what she observed in 2015, while bird watching in Baja California: Most fascinating to see are the results derived from the Mexican jay watching Mexicans preparing meals over millennia. The jay began to mimic the human’s food–making process which evolved into learning how to actually prepare a tiny tortilla and then inserting the pinyon (or pine nuts) into it, the wrapping so tightly achieved that they can easily peck a small section at a time and dine more leisurely. Stories about the bird making ‘sauce’ by dropping overripe tomatoes on it from great heights is sheer nonsense and has in fact, never been observed.

— Aristides Pappidas

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