Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Tomback, “A Possible Breeding Record for Clark’s Nutcracker in Northwestern Nebraska in 1987,” from Nebraska Bird Review (December 1995) 63(4).


Copyright 1995, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


In the late morning of 17 May, 1987, my husband and I drove into Sowbelly Canyon, which is in the Pine Ridge area in northwestern Nebraska. In the canyon, about 3.3 miles from Harrison, we were in a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)–riparian community ecotone, and were startled to hear and see a flock of Clark's Nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana). About 30 adults were perched on branches or flying about the tops of the ponderosa pines. From the abundance of cones, it was clear that there had been a good seed crop the previous fall. Some of the birds were perched on or near cones, sorting through the scales and removing seeds. I saw similar foraging behavior by Clark's Nutcrackers Jeffrey pines (Pinus jeffreyi) during winter and spring in the eastern Sierra Nevada, California (Tomback 1978).