The Clark's Nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana, is a large (12 in/25 cm) member of the crow family, Corvidae. It is a resident of mountain coniferous forests across western North America, from British Columbia to New Mexico.
The Clark's Nutcracker is a striking bird with its gray body, long bill and piercing black eyes. Its black wings have white patches and its short black tail has white edges. The white become very noticeable in flight. Males and females are similar in appearance.
With its specially deigned long, sharp bill, the Clark's Nutcracker can pry seeds from pinecones. This is its preferred food and thousands of seeds are carefully stashed away for the winter. The bird has a remarkable ability to remember where the seeds were hidden.
The Clark's Nutcracker often appears curious and tame and is sometimes confused with the much smaller and friendly Canada or Gray Jay. It is named in honour of explorer Captain Clark, of the Lewis and Clark expeditions.