basic information

Spotted Nutcracker

Nucifraga caryocatactes (Linnaeus, 1758)

Кедровка | Самыркеш

Kim-Asar gorge, Ile Alatau National Park
© Askar Isabekov


Lives in the Eurasian taiga forests and spruce forests of Tien Shan. In Kazakhstan breeds in Altai, Dzhungar Alatau and ridges of Northern Tien Shan. Please see detailed distribution in the section Subspecies.


Common, in places rare, resident. Inhabits mountain cedar and spruce forests at altitudes 1700-2700 m in Tien Shan and 900-2200 m in Altai. During non-breeding seasons wanders quite widely and occurs in the deciduous forest, groves and gardens and exceptionally in the clay deserts with scattered bushes. Breeding in separate pairs. Nest is built in a tree (spruce, cedar, larch) at height 1-8 m above the ground; nest is from the dry twigs, lichen and willow bast and is lined with dry grass, plant fluff and some hair and feathers. Clutch of 3-4, rare up to 7, eggs is laid probably in end April – May. Both parents incubate clutch for about 20 days and feed juveniles, which fledge in mid – end June. Most of the year stays singly or in loose groups. In case of crop failure of cones of coniferous species which are the main food to Nutcrackers, the birds of subspecies macrorhynchos wanders wide to west and south in mid September - October, but such behaviour was not recorded for birds of subspecies rothschildi.


Nucifraga caryocatactes rothschildi (Hartert, 1903)

Nucifraga caryocatactes macrorhynchos (C.L.Brehm, 1823)

    Description. Bill is longer and more slender; upperparts background color is paler, less blackish-brown; the white terminal band on tail feathers is broader than in rothschildi.
    Distribution. Breeds in South-West Altai. Wanderers recorded on Ural valley (from 5 October - 1 November 1956 30 birds recorded, and in October 1963, when 5-10 birds observed each day); in Naurzum Reserve; on Big Aksuat lake; and even in Kurgaldzhino Reserve (11 and 25 September 1971, two birds). Three lean birds obtained at influence of Temir in Emba river (6 September 1963). It noted once on Ustyurt (8 October 1954). On Syrdarya valley near Chiili one bird (from 5 observed) obtained (23 December 1909). No spring movement observed.


Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург. Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.



Nucifraga caryocatactes rothschildi
(Hartert, 1903)
Nucifraga caryocatactes macrorhynchos
(C.L.Brehm, 1823)

other names


go to family:

in other projects

Birds of Belarus

Birds of Far East Russia

Birds of Kyrgyzstan

Birds of Northern Eurasia

Birds of Russia

Birds of Europaean part of Russia

Birds of Siberia

Birds of Tyumen Oblast

Birds of Ukraine

Birds of Xinjiang

unidentified birds


Андрей Коваленко: В осеннем наряде наверное сложно об этом рассуждать...


Анна Ясько: Все же теньковка, на мой взгляд. У Ларса Свенссона (Handbook of Western Palearctic Birds) в описании теньковки есть упоминание, что некоторые птицы, особенно [....]


Нурлан Онгарбаев: Если других версий нет, переношу в Садовую.

more unidentified birds...