Friday, September 4, 2009

Clark's Nutcracker

Another lifer that we got to photograph during our Yellowstone trip was the Clark's nutcracker. The Clark's nutcracker is a western bird that can be found at higher elevations which makes Yellowstone the perfect habitat.
The Clark's nutcracker is an omnivore. They eat things like bugs and carrion but their primary food source is pine seeds, which they remove from unripened pine cones. The Clark's harvest the seeds and then cache any extra food for times when food is lean. A special pouch under their tongue is used to carry the food to the cache location.
Each nutcracker can cache thousands of seeds per year. Since they are a member of the Corvidae, crow and jay, family they are highly intelligent. Studies have shown that they poses a very good memory and can usually find most of the seeds that they cache. Since they almost always have a food source available, do to their cached stores they are able to begin breeding early in the year then most birds, January or February is typical. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs.


Helen said...

Very pretty bird. Great shots. It's history was very interesting. Helen

Unknown said...

Wonderful shots! Thanks for the info!

My Camera Critters

Chris said...

Very beautiful bird and beautiful pictures of it. Probably a species I will never see here ;-)

Larry D said...

Ive read about these birds and their ability to remember where they cache seed, interesting bird indeed.

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful shots of the Clarks Nutcracker.