Resemble Jays in habits ; food, nuts, cone-seeds, insects, berries ; nest, cup in trees, generally conifers ; eggs greenish white, finely marked with pale liver brown.
Nucifraga caryocatactes caryocatactes (L.). NUT CRACKER. Fr. Chasse noix ; Ger. Tannenhaher ; Idad. Nocciolaja ; Swed. N otkraka.
9 Colour dark chocolate with white spots ; tail tipped with white, spots 5-10 m.m. long. Bill thick and blunt, black. Legs and feet black. Wing 18o-195. Tarsus 35-40. Bill 41-433 depth at angle 13-16.
Breeds.—Scandinavia to about 64° N., Baltic Provinces, Lap land, Finland, Russia (from Jaroslav and Moscow to Urals and south to Ekaterinburg), E. Prussia, Denmark (occasional), S.
Germany and Bohemia, Alpine system of C. Europe to Car pathians, Montenegro, Croatian littoral, and Pyrenees. Resident. Rare visitor elsewhere including Britain, generally in autumn and winter.
N. caryocatactes macrorhynchus Brehm. Bill longer, more slender and pointed, 42-50 m.m. long, 12-14 deep at angle ; white spots on outer tail feathers longer, about 25-30 m.m.
A Siberian breeding race ; occasionally occurs in winter as far west as Britain, France, and Pyrenees, south to N. Italy and Hungary.