November 20, 2017
Congratulations to Maureen Hills-Urbat of Rockyview County, Alberta, our BirdSpotter Judges’ Choice winner! While Clark’s Nutcrackers mainly forage for fresh and stored pine seeds, they sometimes visit feeders to eat peanuts and suet. Maureen shared that they have had nutcrackers at their feeders for the last several years.
Maureen wrote, “We have lived in the foothills west of Calgary since 2001. In 2013, the Clark’s Nutcrackers started coming to our feeders, which are well stocked with a nut mixture that they seem to prefer. They initially spent two summers with us and are now staying year round. They have successfully nested here for the last three summers with populations as high as 12 birds for a few weeks in August. The nutcrackers are certainly an entertaining bird to have around with their bold behaviors and their raspy call.”
When not at the feeder, these birds are busy foraging for pine seeds. Over the course of a year, a single nutcracker can cache over 100,000 pine seeds! While the birds do have an amazing memory and can locate many stored seeds, uneaten seeds help regenerate the mountain forests of the West. Read more about this keystone bird species in a feature article from the Lab’s Living Bird magazine.
Today (November 20) is the first day to submit a photo to the BirdSpotter category Bathing Beauties: Keeping feathers clean is important and refreshing! Biweekly People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice winners receive prizes from the Cornell Lab and our sponsor, Wild Birds Unlimited. Anyone can participate by entering a photo and voting for their favorites! Find out more about the BirdSpotter contest.