30. Pyrrhocorax alpinus.
The Yellow-billed Chough.
Corvus pyrrhocorax, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 158. Pyrrhocorax alpinus, Vieill. Nouv. Diet,, d' Hist. Nat. vi, p. 568 (1816); Blyth, Cat. p. 90 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 549; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 319; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. ii, p. 66; Scully, S. F. iv, p. 162; Sharpe. Cat. B. M. iii, p. 148; Hume. Cat. no. 680; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 78. Fregilus pyrrhocorax (Linn.), Blanford, J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 70. Pyrrhocorax forsythi, Stoliczka, S. F. ii, p. 462 (1874).
The Alpine Chough, Jerd.
Coloration. The whole plumage black with a slight gloss; the Mings and tail very glossy.
Iris brown ; bill yellow ; feet red (Blanford).
Length about 16; tail 6.3 to 7.5; wing 10.3 to 11.5; tarsus 1.6 ; bill 1.4.
Distribution. The whole of the Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan. This Chough appears to move locally according to season, being found low down in winter and up to 15,000 feet or even higher in summer.
Habits, &c. According to Stoliczka this species is very social, and frequently visits the camp of the traveller in Spiti and Ladak; it is here quite as familiar and quite as noisy in the neighbourhood of villages and camping-grounds as Corvus splendens throughout India.
This bird breeds in holes of cliffs, but the finding of the nest has not yet been recorded from Indian localities.