Yellow Billed or Alpine Chough

We feature both species of chough:

Red billed or Cornish Chough

Yellow billed or Alpine Chough

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 centimeters.

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 be fed.

The Alpine Chough is omnivorous.  Much of its food consists of insects, seeds, berries, eggs, bread from mountain climbers and carrion.

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.


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