577. Pyrrhocorax alpinus

577. Alpine Chough.
Pyrrhocorax alpinus, Vieill. N. Dict. vi. p. 568 (1816) ; Gould, B. of E. iii. pl. 218 ; Dresser, iv. p. 445, pl. 251, fig. 2 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br Mus. iii. p. 148 ; Oates, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, i. p. 44 ; Corvus pyrrhorcorax Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 158 (1766) ; Naum. ii. p. 107, Taf. 57, fig. 1.
Ghoucas des Alpes, French ; Alpenkrahe, Alpendohle, German ; Grajo, Span. ; Gracchio. Ital.
Male ad. (Switzerland). Glossy black with purple and bottle-green reflections ; beak yellow with an orange tinge ; legs and feet vermilion- red, soles blackish ; claws blackish horn ; iris brown. Culmen 1.2, wing 10.3, tail 6.0, tarsus 1.7 inch. Sexes alike. The young are brownish black, beak yellowish at the base, otherwise blackish ; legs blackish marked with red in the articulations.
Hab. The mountains of Southern Europe from Spain to the southern Ural ; rare in Portugal ; Asia Minor ; Palestine ; the Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan ; is said to have occurred in England.
In habits it resembles the common Chough, but frequents higher altitudes than that species and in the summer is found up to 15,000 feet and even higher, but in the winter it descends into the valleys but never frequents the sea-coast. Its flight is swift and it frequently hovers or glides in circles with out¬stretched wings. It feeds on insects of various kinds, seeds, berries, and grain. Its nest, which is placed in the fissure of a rock, or amongst old ruins, is constructed of twigs, grasses, and roots, lined with leaves, hair, and rootlets, and is large and bulky. The eggs, 4 to 5 in number are deposited in April or May, and resemble those of P. graculus but are smaller, averaging about 1.48 by 1.05.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 1. 1902.
Title in Book: 
577. Pyrrhocorax alpinus
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Alpine Chough
Red-billed Chough
Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
Vol. 1

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