Clark's Nutcracker

Nucifraga columbiana
Clark's Nutcracker thumbnail
Length: 12 in. (31 cm )
Primarily limited to coniferous forests at higher altitudes in the western mountains, the Clark\'s Nutcracker relies heavily on pine cone seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects for food. However, it is not above occasionally robbing eggs and nestlings from the nests of other birds. In a single summer, a single bird can cache up to 30,000 seeds by burying them in the ground, usually on more protected mountain slopes. These storage areas are then used throughout the winter as a food source, but many seeds are forgotten or lost, and new trees spring up here. During the winter, nutcrackers move about in small flocks in the mountains, but following low pine cone years, large numbers of this bird move to lowland desert and prairie areas until the next spring. The cup-shaped nest is made of bark strips, grass, leaves and feathers and hidden on a horizontal limb of a conifer tree.

The four-digit banding code is CLNU.

Fir forest

Riparian / River forest

Bird Sound Type: Buzzing
Sex of Bird: Male
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Bird Sound Type: Buzzing
Sex of Bird: Male
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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Clark's Nutcracker
  • Author(s): Dr. Biology
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: July 13, 2017
  • Date accessed: June 12, 2024
  • Link:

APA Style

Dr. Biology. (2017, July 13). Clark's Nutcracker. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved June 12, 2024 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

Dr. Biology. "Clark's Nutcracker". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 July, 2017.

MLA 2017 Style

Dr. Biology. "Clark's Nutcracker". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 Jul 2017. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 12 Jun 2024.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see
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