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Clark's Nutcracker
Corvidae
Nucifraga columbiana
Type: Bird

Effect: Helper
gardengeek
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Corvidae Family
Nucifraga Genus


Location / Where this Creature is found:

Amasa Valley, Delta, Utah

Description

Black and White

General information about Clark's Nutcracker :


The most important food resources for this species are the seeds of Pines (Pinus sp.), principally the two cold-climate (high altitude) species of white pine (Pinus subgenus Strobus) with large seeds P. albicaulis and P. flexilis, but also using other high-altitude species like P. balfouriana, P. longaeva and P. monticola. During migrations to lower altitudes, it also extensively uses the seeds of pinyon pines.
The birds regularly store more than their actual needs (up to 33,000 seeds per bird!) as an insurance against seed theft by other animals (squirrels, etc.); this surplus seed is able to germinate and grow into new trees, thus the bird is perpetuating its own habitat. Closely tied in with this storage behaviour is the bird's remarkable long-term spatial memory; they are able to relocate caches of seeds with remarkable accuracy, even six months later, and even when the cache sites are buried under up to a meter (3 ft) of snow.
The diet also includes a wide range of insect prey, berries and other fruits, small mammals and occasionally flesh from carcasses. Eggs and nestlings are sometimes devoured, and peanuts and suet have become a favorite at bird tables. Food is taken both from the ground and from trees, where the Nutcrackers are very agile among the branches. The birds are able to extract food by clasping pine cones in such a way that the cones are held between one or both feet. The birds then hack the cones open with their strong bills. Rotten logs are also hacked into in order to locate large beetle grubs, and animal dung may be flipped over in search of insects. Clark's Nutcrackers can also be opportunistic feeders in more urban locations.

The species usually nests in pines or other types of conifers during early spring. Nests are built on the leeward side of the tree, wind protection being a larger concern than sunlight. Two to four eggs are laid, incubation usually occurring in 16-18 days. Incubation is performed by both the male and female parents, and the young are typically fledged by around the 22nd day. The fledglings follow their parents around for several months in order to learn the complex seed storage behavior.
The voice of this bird is extremely varied and produces many different sounds. However, the most frequent call is commonly described as khaaa-khaaa-khaaa or khraa-khraa-khraa, usually in a series of three.
This bird derives its name from the explorer William Clark.
AKA: Clark's Crow and Woodpecker Crow.





Clark's Nutcracker - YouTube.com


Clark's Nutcracker




Clark's Nutcracker




Clark's Nutcracker




Clark's Nutcracker


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