Clark s Nutcracker

A member of the jay family, Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) is unmistakable in its striking contrast of light grey with black wings. It gathers and stores its main diet of pinyon and whitebark pine nuts (from 22,000 to 33,000 by autumn) in various caches for feeding its young in the spring. It also eats various insects and flies. [Source: Stoke's Field Guide to Birds, Western Region, ISBN 0316818100] This specimen was photographed on top of Lava Butte, a volcanic cinder cone about 10 miles south of Bend, Oregon, and part of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, encompassing a number of geological sites in Central Oregon along US Highway 97 from Bend to Lapine.

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