Clark’s Nutcracker

Nucifraga columbiana

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  • Clark’s Nutcracker |  Photo: NPS
  • Clark’s Nutcracker |  Photo: NPS
  • Clark’s Nutcracker |  Photo: NPS
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Clark’s Nutcracker Photo Gallery

Basic Information

Order

Passeriformes

Family

Corvidae

Size

Clark's Nutcrackers are generally between 10.5 and 12 inches in length.

Lifespan

up to 17 years

Weight

Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) facts, habitat, range, nutcracker pictures and bird watching tips to help you identify the songbird.

Diet

Omnivore

Behavior

Foliage Gleaner

Range

Western U.S. Mountains

Nest Placement

Tree

Number of Offspring

2–6 Eggs

Egg Description

Pale Green with brown specks

Condition at Hatching

Feeble, eyes closed, thin white down

Social Status

Flocks

Wingspan

17.75-18.25 in

Observation Tips

To see a Clark's Nutcrackers in the wild, take a hike along a trail running through the west's subalpine forests. Often hikers will hear their long grating call well before spotting them.

What does the Clark’s Nutcracker look like?

Clark's Nutcrackers are large songbirds. They have short tails, rounded heads and long straight sharp black bills, legs, feet and eyes. They have light gray bodies with black on the wings.

Clark’s Nutcracker Habitat

Forests

Clark’s Nutcracker Facts

Clark's Nutcrackers are songbirds of the west's subalpine forests. They rely almost exclusively on pine seeds as a source of food. They have incredible memories and each year hide thousands of seeds for later consumption during winter. Their dagger-like bills make extracting the pine seeds quite easy. They also have a pouch under their tongues that is used to store seeds while they travel far distances. Male Clark's Nutcrackers also play a role in caring for young. They will incubate eggs when females are collecting seeds. This behavior is abnormal in the Jay/Crow family. They are named after Captain William Clark who first collected one 1805.

See also