Cache Retrieval Memory
How good is the memory of a Northern Hawk Owl when it comes to retrieving its cache scattered over a wide area? I couldn't find a definitive answer. I saw the bird catching and caching three voles in one afternoon. I was curious to find out if I would see the cached voles a day later. The composite picture above is taken 24 hours apart. The one on the left shows the bird leaving its dead prey on the branch for caching and the second on the right was taken 24 hours later - the prey is still there and not consumed. If it's storing for long term then 24 hours is not enough for it to retrieve its cache. The other possibility is that the abundance of prey in the area doesn't require the bird to fall back to its cache. But, isn't that wasteful or attract other cache pilferers?