Clark’s NutCracker

Nucifraga columbiana

The Clark’s Nutcracker is a bird seen in western North America from British Columbia and western Alberta in the north to Baja California and western New Mexico in the south. When visiting their territory, one can usually hear groups of these birds in raucous conversations.

These birds are equipt with long, strong bills to extract seeds from pine cones. Like their cousins the jays, they have evolved a pouch under their tongues to store the seeds while they carry them away to burry in a practice called “scatter hoarding”. Tens of thousands of seeds are stashed in this way, and the Clark’s Nutcracker’s memory is good enough to remember almost all the locations. Those that are not retrieved will sprout and become the next generation of pine trees.

Click map markers to reveal further information