Montana Outdoors

August 19, 2007

Clark’s Nutcracker

Filed under: Birds, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — montucky @ 4:26 pm

If I were to be reincarnated, I would wish to return as a Clark’s Nutcracker. “This bird often lives in places remote from human contact, near treeline on windy western peaks”, according to Peterson’s Guide of North American Birds. “Nutcrackers are champions at burying pine seeds (sometimes tens of thousands) in hidden caches in fall, then finding them during winter; these seed stores allow them to nest in late winter, when the forest is still covered with snow.”

Sure enough, these were found right at treeline on a windy western peak while I was photographing a wildfire. Several swooped in to visit me for just a few moments and then sailed off down the mountain, obviously exhilarated by the altitude, the view and their swift ride on the wind.

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark's Nutcracker

They are fairly large birds, 12-13” in length, and look nearly identical to the Canadian Gray Jay, often called “Camp Robber”.

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