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Hidden Valley

Pinyon Jays


Pinyon pine (Pinus monophylla)

The seeds of many pines are winged and can be carried on the wind. The wingless pinyon seed relies heavily on pinyon and scrub jays for dispersal. When the seeds become ripe, pinyon jays peck the cones loose from the branches, hammer them open, and pick them apart. They carry the seeds to their nesting areas, as much as six miles away, and cache then in the ground. The seeds that aren't used by the jays for food and courtship might germinate and become new pinyons.

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The cone scales of singleleaf pinyon have a membranous tissue that holds the seed in place after the cones open, protecting them from ground-foragers and keeping them available to avian dispersers.

ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - glossary - comments
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