I recently heard that Eastern grey squirrels sometimes dig holes, pretend to bury nuts, or other food, and then cover the empty holes. I was told that they use all the same motions and effort as they would if actually burying a nut for future consumption. Sometimes they even have a nut in their mouth, and at some point during the process, they store it deep into their cheek, so squirrels watching them assume their mouth is empty.
The purpose is to deceive those onlooking squirrels, or to lead squirrels who arrive later on a wild goose chase, searching for stashed food to steal where there isn't any.
This sounds like either sophisticated behavior, or a fun story.
Do squirrels actually pretend to bury food?
If so, is there any scientific evidence that it works?