Nearly two years ago Leonard and I were surprised to find Clark’s nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana) at Ash Creek (see “Clark’s Nutcracker” 11-02-11 for a discussion of this grey and black bird). . A bird that prefers higher elevation conifer forests, Clark’s nutcrackers are not common at Ash Creek’s elevation of < 5,000 feet. Usually they move to lower elevations during severe weather or “irrupt” in search of pine cones if the higher elevation cone crop fails.
Medicine Lake (Siskiyou County CA) is at +7,000 feet, a more common habitat for Clark’s nutcrackers. Several days ago the Clark’s nutcrackers at Medicine Lake were busy drinking from the lake and were not at all disturbed by my presence. I was able to easily photograph these cooperative birds.
Enjoy these Clark’s nutcrackers.