Windows on Wildlife: Clark’s Nutcracker

Welcome to the 21st edition of  Windows on Wildlife!  If you have a recent post about wildlife you would like to share – it can be anything: birds, insects, mammals – scroll down to the end of the post and add your site; I will compile and post all additions the following week. Please don’t forget to link back here (I’d love it if you’d add the Windows on Wildlife button to your post which you can find on our sidebar) and visit other blogs that have articles to share. Thanks for stopping by!

I was driving to a conference with a colleague last week, and got into a conversation about corvids (Jays, Crows, Magpies) – like you do when your colleagues are also nature geeks.  In recounting some of the birding I had done on the Yellowstone trip I co-lead in 2001, I was struggling to recall my corvid sightings. The one that stands out most clearly to me (aside from the Ravens and Magpies which were everywhere) was the Clark’s Nutcracker which we saw on a snowy hike not far from the Yellowstone Association Institute where we had been working with Nathan Varley – an educator and researcher for the institute – who took us on a hike up the Rose Creek Wolf Pen. We were lucky enough to get a photo of it, unlike some of our other sightings.

It took a visit to my birding journal for a full recall of our corvid sightings:

American Crow
Common Raven
Blue Jay
Black-billed Magpie
Clark’s Nutcracker
Stellar’s Jay
Gray Jay

I absolutely love corvids – Ravens in particular. I feel like I could watch most of these birds indefinitely – they’re all very clever, interactive and beautiful, and I learn so much from observing them. If you’re interested in learning more about corvids, a great resource that I’ve had on my shelf for years is a beautiful book called Bird Brains by Candace Savage. She has some spectacular photographs and accounts of several different species.

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Fungi was the topic of the week at Jenny’s Just Photos by Me. Although not quite wildlife, they do farm tree species (it is often the fungi species in a forests’ soil that dictates what trees will grow there) which I think elevates them above most other plant  species (yes, I know fungi are in a different kingdom from plants… ).  Cool pics to go with them – I love the wide variety of fungi you can find even in one small area.




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