The Nutty Clark’s Nutcracker

A Bird that is always looking for a handout, this camp robber is friendly to people and likely views them just as another nut. You see that is their job, as a single nutcracker can harvest selectively well over 100,000 of the most optimal seeds in the fall, cache them without loosing them even in the deep snow. The following breeding season they will use them to feed their young. They come well equipped as they have a sublingual pouch capable of holding around 50-150 seeds, depending on the size and a very strong bill for cracking the cones.

One of the most interesting attributes of the nutcracker is it close association with distribution of pine trees across the northern hemisphere. The soft pines produce wingless seeds that are food for man and many animals. Since the seeds are wingless, these pines are dependent on animals for seed dispersal. Of the many species that feed on pine seeds none is as well adapted for this task as the ecologically important Clark’s Nutcracker.

The Clark’s Nutcracker is one of very few members of the crow family where the male incubates the eggs by developing a brood patch on its chest just like the female.

Common in high altitudes of the Rocky Mountains and are the first to greet you at the parking lot of Lake Louise.


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