Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday



The Alpine Chough
I spotted this pair sitting on a little ledge overlooking the Glacier of Aletsch at the top of Eggeshorn Mountain.  They are average size blackbirds about the size of our Starling or Grackle with white (the book says yellow) beaks and red legs.  But these are not ordinary blackbirds for this species breeds in high mountains.  Their eggs have adaptations to the thin atmosphere that improves oxygen take up and reduces water loss.


The Alpine Chough pairs for life and builds a lined stick nest in caves or crevices in a cliff face.  It feeds in flocks eating invertebrates in the summer and fruit in the winter.  It is known to nest at a higher altitude than any other bird.

Even though they are considered common throughout Europe and Spain, I feel privileged to have shared a mountain top with them ... :)


Happy WBW!

14 comments:

  1. Hi Andrea I wondered why the first 2 shots of the birds has whitish beaks so I looked it up and found that the young have horn coloured beaks and dark legs so your last shot is an adult, the others spear juveniles. Great shots and I have learned something else today.

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  2. They are pretty birds and new to me.. So, thank you for sharing this wild bird. Great shots..

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  3. What a pretty little bird. I've never heard of it, so I'm really happy that you are able to share photos of it. I think it's amazing how something as tiny as a bird mates for life I wonder what happens when one of the pair dies? Do they ever find a new mate in a situation like this? Hmmmm.

    It's supposed to be very wet here today, but Pogo has an appointment with the groomer so we must go out. Hopefully the worst of the rain will wait until we are back home. Now I must make us some breakfast. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

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  4. What lovely birds, it looks high and windy there, take care!

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  5. Nice pictures of the Chough. I've never seen the Alpine species.

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  6. What a pretty little pair. I love their red legs.

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  7. lovely pair of birds..pretty red legs and yellow beak(in the zoomed out photo). Thanks for the background story about them too!

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  8. Pretty birds! And how interesting to learn about them. You are indeed privileged!

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  9. So lovely! I like the blackbirds (since I have a cat, they never more come into my backyard door... ), but alpine blackbirds I've never seen before.

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  10. no bird or animal is ever "just common" to me....I love them all....and, they always seem pretty special...

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  11. Great sighting of this interesting pair.

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  12. Great birds - I have never seen them - rather jealous! I also think the first pair of birds could be juveniles.

    P (and here brother H) don't have much choice about being surrounded by nature - not with me as a Dad! The magpies are outside the window as I write!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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