Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes) Birds Information & Facts


Length: 32 cm. The male and female Nutcracker birds have like plumage,
Wining span: 59 cm.
Voice: Cry like that of the jay; call in spring sounds like ‘kror’.
Size of Egg: 30.3—37.5 x 21.5—26.0 mm.

Nutcracker Bird Habitat

The nutcracker inhabits conifer forests in the mountain areas of southern Scandinavia and southeastern Europe; its original habitat is the arctic taiga. It is a resident species, but also a transient migrant; some years’ populations from as far away as Siberia invade Europe during the winter. The nutcracker generally nests at elevations above 300 metres, but in the Alps, it may be found at anything between 800 and 2000 metres above sea level. In northern Europe, it is found also in the lowlands.

Bird’s Nesting

The deep nest is built at the end of February or the beginning of March, among thick branches of spruce trees, generally between 4 and 15 meters above the ground. The structure comprises a foundation of broken twigs on top of which is a layer of moss, lichens and rotting wood, and the hollow is lined with soft grass, leaves and feathers.

Nutcracker Bird’s Breeding

The 3 to 4 eggs are incubated by the hen alone for 17 to 19 days, during which time she is fed by the male. The young leave the nest at the age of 23 days and, in the company of their parent, roam woods where there is an abundant crop of nuts, beechnuts and other seeds.

Frequently they store them in a cache in a tree stump or at the base of a tree trunk and, surprisingly, are able to find these caches again in times of need. Sometimes the birds visit orchards where they pick the seeds from ripe pears, and will also eat insects. They have been known to take the young of song-birds from the nest, although such behavior is rare.

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