[Tweeters] "Purple-throated" Nutcrackers

Will's Email yekramw at gmail.com
Sat Sep 24 16:04:46 PDT 2016


Aren't there huckleberries up there? I could sure see them taking advantage of those when they get ripe. If I remember from my backpacking days, they were ripe in mid July. I would think some could still be ripening. Maybe even fermenting! Any weird behavior of the birds?

Will Markey
General Adjuster
Cell - 253-569-8455
Sent from my IPhone


> On Sep 24, 2016, at 3:52 PM, B B <birder4184 at yahoo.com> wrote:

>

> Frank Caruso, Steve Pink and I visited Sunrise on Wednesday and as I now check photos, at least one and probably two of the Clark's Nutcrackers we had did indeed have a purplish cast to their throats. Clark's Nutcracker with Purple Throat

>

>

> Clark's Nutcracker with Purple Throat

>

>

>

> From: Gudalewicz Dasha <dasha at gudalewicz.com>

> To: Tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>

> Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2016 11:07 AM

> Subject: [Tweeters] "Purple-throated" Nutcrackers

>

> Hello Tweets,

>

> Two weeks ago at Sunrise, Mount Rainier, I saw and photographed a nutcracker with throat stained pinkish/purplish. That reminded me that three years ago, in July, 2013, I saw two birds with similar stains, also at Sunrise.

>

> First six images here:

> https://ololaiki.smugmug.com/Animals/Birds/Corvids/Clarks-Nutcracker-2/

>

> That made me curious. But I couldn’t find anywhere what causes such staining.

>

> And the only other photos I found online were made in Banff NP:

> https://leerentz.wordpress.com/2010/10/30/banff-national-park-friendly-relations-between-clarks-nutcracker-and-whitebark-pine/

>

> I asked Dennis Paulson if he ever saw something like that and he did! At Sunrise in October 1974 he photographed what he called “Purple-throated Fruitcrow” :)

>

> Dennis and I think that the most reasonable theory is that immature Whitebark Pine cones produce some kind of purplish stain.

>

> From Clark’s Nutcracker profile on BNA Online:

> “Beginning mid- to late Jul, harvests unripe pine seeds ( Tomback 1978a , Hutchins and Lanner 1982 , Christensen et al. 1991 ). Removes seeds from closed whitebark, piñon, limber, Jeffrey, and ponderosa pine cones…”

>

> But at the same time:

> “Whitebark pine seeds stored as early as 15 Aug in Rocky Mtns. and 25 Aug in Sierra Nevada.”

>

> Does anybody know when nutcrackers start collecting Whitebark seeds at Rainier? (as my first sighting was in July)

> Have any of you encountered (and probably photographed) stained nutcrackers?

> Or have you handled unripe Whitebark cones and can confirm that they stain?

> If you’re planning on hiking Rainier (or any other place where Whitebark Pines grow) would you be willing to collect a cone (if it is in the hand’s reach!) and check if it stains?

>

> Thank you!

> And happy birding,

>

> Dasha Gudalewicz,

> Sammamish, WA

>

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