long, broad wings

Clark's Nutcracker

I he slender, slightly downcurved bill of this species is adapted for probing into pine cones and extracting the seeds. The bird either breaks into the cone on the tree, or pulls the whole cone off and delves into it while holding it down with its foot. It also eats other seeds and fruits when available, as well as robbing nests and probing rotten wood for insects. I'ine seeds are the most important food item in its native mountain conifer forests. After collecting seeds in its throat pouch, it carries them to special hoarding sites to ensure a food supply throughout the snowbound winter. If the seed crop fails, the nutcrackers may be forced to make an irruptive migration, appearing in large numbers in lowland forest. Each pair normally lives within its own territory, but also searches outside it for food. The birds communicate with a variety of calls, the commonest being a single, loud note.

• NliST A cup nest of twigs, usually at the end of a conifer branch.

• DISTRIBUTION W. North America from S. Canada to N. Mexico.

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