Friday, June 3, 2011

Photo of the day: Clark's Nutcracker at Paradise

While snowshoeing at Paradise, in Mount Rainier National Park, we spotted this Clark's Nutcracker sitting atop a car in the parking lot. I was able to get quite close to it -- close enough to see the individual hairs on the individual feathers ruffling in the wind. You can also see that massive, strong beak, ideal for cracking into seeds and retrieving their nourishment during the long, severe winters at high elevation where these birds live.

This fellow, of course, was hoping for a handout--but we know better; we know that our food does not sustain it the way this bird's natural foods do, and that the nutcracker's habit of caching food to eat later leads it to contaminate natural stores with easily-spoiled human snacks. Resist the temptation to turn national parks into petting zoos, and keep wildlife wild!

Clark's Nutcracker by The Bacher Family
Clark's Nutcracker, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.

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