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common name for a small crow of the genus Nucifraga in the family Corvidae (crow family). The Old World nutcracker (N. caryocatactes) is found throughout the colder regions of Europe, including high mountain forests. Its plumage is chocolate brown, speckled with white. With its strong, conical beak, it feeds omnivorously on a diet of conifer seeds, nuts, small buds, and insects. In a squirrellike fashion, it stores seeds during the summer and fall against the winter's snow, and has a remarkable ability to relocate its cache exactly, even though covered with snow. Clark's nutcracker (N. columbians), pale gray with black and white wings, is found throughout W North America, and is similar in its habits and choice of habitat to N. caryocatactes. It somewhat resembles a stout-billed mockingbird. Like most crows, nutcrackers are intelligent and aggressive birds. They are highly gregarious, and their flocks show a complex social organization. Their young are born blind and helpless. Nutcrackers are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Corvidae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Nucifraga caryocatactes), a bird of the family Corvidae of the order Passeriformes. The body measures approximately 35 cm long. The plumage is dark brown spotted with white. The nutcracker is distributed in the coniferous forests of Europe and Asia. In the USSR it lives in the taiga zone and the forests of Tien-Shan. In winter it makes short migrations. It feeds on seeds, mainly those of the nut pine and fir, on insects, and occasionally on rodents. During years of poor conifer seed yield, the nutcracker makes massive migrations. The bird nests in trees in dense forests. The female lays three to four, rarely five, speckled eggs, which hatch in 20 days. The nutcracker, in eating numerous seeds from the nut pine, promotes the nut pine’s spread as well as growth over burned and felled areas, since it stores the seeds in the ground.


Ptitsy Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 5. Edited by G. P. Dement’ev and N. A. Gladkov. Moscow, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


either of two birds, Nucifraga caryocatactes of the Old World or N. columbianus (Clark's nutcracker) of North America, having speckled plumage and feeding on nuts, seeds, etc.: family Corvidae (crows)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A software porting tool for converting Unix/Linux applications to Windows, originally from software development firm DataFocus, Inc., Fairfax, VA. When DataFocus merged with Mortice Kern Systems Inc. ( in 1999, the NutCRACKER product suite became MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers. This comprehensive set of Unix utilities has become a leading player in the interoperability marketplace of Unix to Windows migration. For more information, visit
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References in periodicals archive ?
"While we are taking Don Quixote and Giselle to other towns and cities they are not as popular as people want to return again and again to The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.
The battle rages until Clara rescues the cornered Nutcracker and his troops by flinging her slipper at the head of the Mouse King, who is carried away by his fellows.
(2) Nutcracker syndrome should be part of the differential consideration in the evaluation for hematuria when other etiologies have been excluded.
The Nutcracker is Mikhail Baryshnikov's breathtaking and critically acclaimed Emmy[R] nominated production.
Marie celebrates at a sumptuous party together with her godfather and the nutcracker prince.
7 Twist nutcracker, pounds 14.99 (, 0845 345 0728)
The hotel has also offered a Nutcracker package from December 5 to 26, 2010, for package rates commencing at USD205 and including overnight accommodations at The Georgian Terrace Hotel and two tickets to the Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker.
When Balda gave individual Clark's nutcrackers a second chance to cache seeds in the same sandy aviary floor, the birds often choose different hiding places.
Second prize is a top-priced family ticket for two adults and two children to either ballet, plus a crate of special Nutcracker edition champagne.
Clark's nutcrackers perform an invaluable symbiotic service for the whitebark pine community.
Working almost all day every day from August until December, a single nutcracker can collect as many as 33,000 pine seeds and bury them in more than 2,500 separate caches.
Nutcrackers and the holiday season have been associated with each other ever since the story "The Nutcracker" was created.