Continued from the Red Billed or Cornish Chough
The Yellow Billed or Alpine Chough is an Eurasian
bird with stable populations in the high mountains of the south of Europe
in the Alps and Pyrenees. It also resides in India and in the Balkans
and the Caucasus as well as in the Himalayas of central Asia.
This member of the crow family has a completely
black, partly metallic-looking shining plumage and red legs. They are distinguishable
from the Red Billed or Cornish Chough by their yellow bill (rather than
the red bill of the Cornish Chough) and their smaller size, the Alpine
Chough being only 36-39 cm long, thus a simar size as a Jackdaw.
They reach 190 to 240 grams in weight, with a wingspan of 70 to 85
Alpine Choughs are very good fliers, and have even
been called beautiful flight artists. They use air flows to sail the skies,
chase after each other and have apparent fun during the most diverse flight
maneuvers and fascinating stunt flights. The birds are happily sociable
and fly in large troops.
They live only in the high mountains above the
timber line often around 4000 metres above sea level. In the mountain hotels
of the alps they are often curious, fearless and friendly and can happily
The Alpine Chough is omnivorous. Much of its food
consists of insects, seeds, berries, eggs, bread from mountain climbers and
Nesting is usually done in small colonies.
The female bird s lays 3 to 5 eggs in a large, softly padded nest in steep
cliffs. The incubation time is between 18 and 21 days.
After hatching, the chicks stay in the nest for 31 to 38 days. In
the wild the Alpine Chough can reach up to 16 years old.