They are found west of the Rocky Mountains from Southern Canada south to New Mexico.
They live in high mountainous areas often in conifer forests at timberline (where trees give way to rocky summits).
They are gray with black wings and tail. They have white patched on the wings and white outer feathers on the tail. They have a big, pointed beak. They have dark eyes and legs. Their gray color is lighter around the face. They have a special pouch under their tongue where they can collect seeds to carry them away to the stash.
They crack open pinecones and remove the seeds. They hide many, many seeds and can find them later to eat. A large stash of seeds is kept to feed young. They have a loud crow-like call.
They eat pine seeds, insects and even dead animals (carrion).
Females lay about 3 eggs in a nest of twigs and bark. Both male and female take turns keeping the eggs warm (incubating). They often raise young very early in the season because they can feed them on their stored collection of pin seeds.
Species: N. columbiana
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