Get Involved with Clark’s Nutcracker Nest Sightings The Cornell Lab of Ornithology media team is developing a new project to support conservation of the whitebark pine ecosystem. They would like to find at least one nest to film, and I will use all nest reports in my upcoming Clark's nutcracker breeding biology paper. Few nutcracker nests are documented in the literature, and not many more have been reported elsewhere, so all information is greatly appreciated. Please report any active nests to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Nutcrackers likely are beginning to nest now, early March, and may continue through June. The best way to find them is to watch nutcracker behavior, as the nests are pretty hard to just stumble upon. The nests are made of twigs, and are ~8-12" wide, ~4-9" high, primarily in conifers. Based on my own observations: some nests are on outer branches, others against the trunk; some eye level, some 60+ ft up; some wide-open to the sky or some easily viewed from below; others totally obscured by branches on all sides. I've found them all in conifers - in live trees, dead trees, and in trees with 100% red needles; in every species of conifer in my study site. Some nest trees are isolated or in a clump of 2-3 trees on the edge of sage brush flats or grassy hillsides, others are in dense stands. So, no real rhyme or reason to a lot of this (yet).
See: Tyson, A., 2019. NOLS and Nutcrackers: The Motivations, Barriers, and Benefits Experienced by Outdoor Adventure Educators in the Context of a Citizen Science Project. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 4(1), p.20. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/cstp.127
And check out the Project's excellent website and Facebook page for lots of great information and to contribute observations! See Anya's 2016 and 2017 season summaries for more details.
I'm looking forward to using all the data collected by this project to evaluate Clark's nutcracker habitat use.