Think I got mugged by a bird. Not sure what to call it.
We waited for Anik to pick us up in the parking lot so we can head to the 1 hour ice carving competition. Vic and I snacked on chips because we didn’t have enough time to get lunch. There was one other tour mate waiting with us and we were all occupied looking at the cute birds surrounding us. Both Vic and the lady were snapping pics while I was watching them, eating my Doritios. Then out of nowhere my head gets bumped kind of hard, my face is getting flapped very firmly, all of a sudden feel a head and beak in my mouth.
My dorito snapped and then I turn around to see a bird with my broken half of chip in it’s beak. This little guy has some serious personal space issues. So glad it wasn’t a NYC pigeon, there were a few minutes of me obsessing if I could catch anything and where this bird’s beak has been. Gonna name my mugger, Clark. I spit Clark’s chip out on the ground because…you know.
Clark spent the rest of his time on the car eying my bag of chips which I rolled up and put in my pocket. He likes cheesey chips and I wasn’t meant to eat a snack.
Clark’s nutcracker ranges from British Columbia, western Alberta to the north and as far south as Baja California to New Mexico. They are found in the mountains at altitudes of of 3000-12,900ft (900-3900m). They travel to lower altitudes outside of breeding season and venture as far east as Illinois and Pennsylvania, especially during cone crop failure (when all crops on a farm are lost). Seeds of pine are their primary food source. Their diet also consists of insects, small mammals, berries, fruits, and if they hang out around humans – chips.
Anik told us that she’s wasn’t surprised it happened because people feed the birds. Please, don’t feed the wildlife, it isn’t good for them and it’s not part of their natural diet. Heck, those chips aren’t even good for me. Ha! Clark and I have a love of junk food.
For more about Clark and his cousins, click here.