Friday, October 4, 2013

This week I went after a load of firewood in Island Park when I saw a Clarks Nutcracker fly into a fir tree.  I grabbed my camera and found not only one in the Douglas fir tree, but about 30 in three trees that were loaded with cones.  Due to the hot dry weather this summer many fir trees are coneless.  I watched as they would grab the cones at their base and twists them off the limb.
Then most of the birds would take the cones into the interior of the tree, wedge the cone in a crook of the limb and then hammer the cone with a wicked large bill.

After loosening the cone, the Nutcracker would pick the seeds out, depositing them in a pouch under their tongue.

After filling the pouch, they would pick another cone and off they would fly to deposit the cone and the seeds in a cache on a nearby ridge.

Just another day of wildness in the wilds of Idaho.


Monts said...

Wow cracking shots of a cracking bird Bill, those bill look well suited to the job.
Good to see you back on.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Well there you are, back again ;) Lovely images, love that bird! off tomorrow for a 3 week journey...hitting MT. WY.ID. SD. and WA. for the most part. The SHUTDOWN sure did a number on our main plans, but we will work around it and find the beauty anyway~

Grayquill said...

Love your pictures and your knowledge of wildlife. Thanks for sharing.