Saturday, 15 December 2018

Alpine Chough

The Alpine Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus is a member of the crow family. They have happily adapted to the tourist presence in the high alpine areas and I photographed these youngsters hanging out on the roof of the café at Nufenen Pass. Their natural food is invertebrates or berries which they forage in the alpine grasslands, but they aren't proud. Scraps from restaurant tables and rubbish bins are also enticing and in ski resorts the birds will stay at high altitudes all year round now whereas in the past they would have descended to a lower altitude during winter. They nest in crevices in the rocky cliffs.

Australian White-winged Choughs are members of the same family and look similar, but are not all that closely related.


Ryoma Sakamoto.Japan said...

May the Christmas season fill your home with joy, your heart with love and your life with laughter.

Ian Fraser said...

Not at all in the same family I’m afraid Susan, though we used to think so. Corcoracidae is an old Auatralian family (just WWC and Apostlebird, the mud nest builders), far removed from the northern hemisphere crows (Corvidae) to which the NH choughs belong. However they have an ancient common ancestry in Gondwana/Australia.

Susan said...

Ha! Wikipedia lied to me in that case!!

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