How Do Squirrels Find the Nuts They Hide?
Actually squirrels fail to find many of the nuts they hide. If neglected long enough, some of them sprout roots and shoots. The forgetful habits of the average squirrel accidentally result in the planting of many forest trees.
When food becomes scarce, the squirrels skitter around looking for all the likely places they would naturally choose to hide a few choice morsels. The frisky fellows are used to retracing their routes throughout their territory.
Most hiding places that looked suitable in the fall also look suitable later. By looking in these likely places they usually find a fair percentage of their secret caches.
Squirrels do use smell partly to uncover buried caches, and they often find and steal at least a nut or two from other squirrels’ caches, which they can detect by the odor.