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Related to nutcracker: Nutcracker syndrome, Nutcracker Suite


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.



(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.


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)


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References in periodicals archive ?
As it strikes midnight, the nutcracker turns into a real soldier who fights off giant rats and the Christmas tree grows before our eyes in a transformation scene which never fails to delight.
Premiered in 1892, the year before Tchaikovsky died at the age of just 53, The Nutcracker tells the story of a little girl, Clara, and her brother, Frederick, who are given a box of dancing dolls and a strange wooden nutcracker doll for Christmas by their uncle.
A seasonal favourite, the show is an opportunity for ballet lovers to see The Nutcracker performed by a long standing Russian theatre.
Her show begins when young Kara Johnson receives a nutcracker filled with hot chocolate, falls asleep and the nutcracker comes alive.
After the guests leave, she retrieves it and falls asleep next to the tree, holding the Nutcracker.
Set to David Berger's version of the Duke Ellington-Billy Strayhorn arrangement of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, the divertissements were drawn from the Harlem Renaissance, celebrating positive images of African Americans.
Marie, who is given a Nutcracker doll for Christmas, enters a dreamlike land of magic where she soon discovers her Nutcracker prince and dances with beautiful snowflakes.
In a world of Edwardian elegance, Nutcracker brings to life the eternally popular Tchaikovsky score featuring the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Waltz of the Flowers.
Featuring a timeless score from incredible composer Pyotr I Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker tells the story of Marie, a rather sad little girl, whose godfather gives her a nutcracker doll as a present which turns into a prince.
In these, the nut is placed on the same side of the fulcrum as the hand operating the nutcracker - as in the simple brass and chip carved treen examples pictured here.
The Moscow Ballet is excited to involve children from the greater Chicago area," said Southport Performing Arts Conservatory's Artistic Director Altin Naska who will once again oversee the Chicago auditions and rehearsals for the Moscow Ballet's annual production of The Great Russian Nutcracker.
VIENNA Festival Ballet are performing The Nutcracker (pictured) in Colwyn Bay and Wrexham - and we've six family tickets to be won.