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either of two sharp-billed, short-tailed birds belonging to the family Corvidae (q.v.; order Passeriformes), found in coniferous forests. The Eurasian nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes) ranges from Scandinavia to Japan and has isolated populations in mountains farther south. It is 32 centimetres (12 12 inches) long and brownish, with white streaking and white tail tip. Clark's nutcracker (N. columbiana) of western North America is pale gray, with black wings and tail, showing white patches in flight. Both species live chiefly on seeds and nuts, which they often store underground for winter use.