Clark’s Nutcracker

photo by Phil Swanson

Nucifraga columbiana
L 12″ (31 cm).

Song or calls:
Includes nasal, grating, drawn-out “kra-a-a.”

Description: Sexes similar. Pale gray overall with black wings and black central tail feathers. Conspicuous white wing patches and outer tail feathers are visible in flight. Long, sharply pointed bill. Flight pattern is crow-like, with deep, slow wingbeats.

Bird Map
Usually found in montane coniferous forests, but winter vagrants may occur almost anywhere.

Where in Nebraska: Rare vagrant in Nebraska. Most records from Pine Ridge area, but seen as far east as Douglas and Cass Counties.

Field Notes: Known to be a bold scavenger at campsites and farmhouses. Also irrupt into desert and lowland areas of the western United States.

Fun Facts: They will hide/store thousands of seeds each year in different locations. They have such a great memory they can remember where they hid the seeds.

Clark's Nutcracker - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)