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Alpine Chough

Alpine Chough
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-08-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 24-70 mm f 2,8 L-USM
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-08-30 10:33
Viewed: 4433
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I got back from a short break in Austria yesterday. Whilst visiting the Grossglockner I saw quite a number of Alpine Choughs - which I had not seen before. I was hoping to get a shot, but suddenly theere were about 40 or so spiraling down to the marmots viewing point. The reason for this I think, was that several tour groups had arrived and the Choughs had decided to abandon their foraging for insects, in favour of the more easy tourist pickings.

The Alpine Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus), also called Yellow-billed Chough is a Eurasian member of the crow family, Corvidae.

It breeds locally in the highest mountains of southern Europe, the Alps, across central Asia and India. It is resident throughout its range. A prehistoric subspecies that lived in Europe during the last ice age was described as Pyrrhocorax graculus vetus.

Though by no means rare, it has disappeared in recent centuries from some areas at the periphery of its range, for example the Polish Tatra Mountains (Tomek & Bocheński 2005). Given that it readily coexists with humans and utilizes modified habitat such as areas around ski resorts, local declines might be better explained by habitat loss due to global warming which would cause the preferred Alpine climate zone to shift or, dependent on the locality, disappear entirely, than by direct destruction of habitat.

It is closely related to the Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and shares its glossy black plumage and red legs. However, the Alpine Chough's long curved bill is yellow rather than red.

It is slightly smaller at 36-39 cm length and a 65-74 cm wingspan, but has a relatively longer tail and shorter wings. It has a similar buoyant and easy flight.

This bird is often gregarious and fearless. Its loud "zrrrrr" call is quite different from that of the Red-billed Chough.

Its food consists of insects in summer and berries or food scraps, especially around ski resorts, in winter. A cavity or cliff ledge is a site for the bird's nest.

This shot has been cropped.

nglen, XOTAELE, jlbrthnn, Necipp, parthasarathi, gracious, nainnain, gannu, anel has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-08-30 10:39]

Hi James wondered where you were. hope you had a good trip. He looks a bit like a big Blackbird. You have captured it with good detail and colour.A nice POv/DOF. Well done TFs. good notes too.

Una interesante nota que acompaña esta no menos interesante captura.
Buenos colores y encuadre.
Saludos y tfs, JL.

Hello James,
It is a superb bird which you could approach. It has beautiful assets which you emphasized well. Good colors and good light. Cheer.
Good Evening

Hi James,
I agree with Nicholas. Everyday from different country:) I think we can accept you a world citizen.
This is very nice photo with details and sharpness. Composition also very nice. TFS
best wishes

Hello James amazing use of this low power zoom to get so close nice and sharp tfs rgds Necip.

A nice capture with great details.

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2007-08-30 23:34]

Hello James,
Very beautiful bird, I love the yellow beak
very sharp image, great POV and composition


Hello James,
Thank you for showing the Alpine Chough from Austria!
perfect exposure and focus on the black feathers that see every details of it!
very well composed and well seen
thanks for sharing

voici là une super macro de cet oiseau qui par sa couleur se détache parfaitement bien sur ton excellent bg, bien vu, merci a toi du partage

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-08-31 1:33]

Hi James,
I spent hours running around the Welsh cliffs trying to photograph these very aware Choughs and only succeded in a large shot of the coast with a couple of black dots on the ground and you could barley see the famous red beak and legs!
You have succeeded in photographing this Alpine Chough perfectly.
Excellent colours with the yellow beak and red legs clearly there.
Well done,

Hi James,
A beautiful bird this chough is. You have captured it excellently with sharp details and very good POV. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Buena captura. Preciosos tonos a pesar de la dificultad de los colores negros.
Saludos James.

hello james,
fine capture of this beautiful bird, nice pov, well composed shot, sharp image, the balck feathers look beautiful,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-08-31 7:04]

James, excellent image and lovely sharp color. The shot has come out very well with black animal. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-09-01 14:03]

Hello James

Very good exposure ,the dark plumage shows very well.The bright yellow beak shows very well.great eye contact.Well focused and composed.TFS

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-09-03 2:07]

Hello James,
I wanted to come back on this Chough-picture. Nice pose of the bird on the stone. It looks a little sleepy!. I know these birds well. In french we call them choucas. In cold Winters they used to come down in the valley where I lived and came on the balcony. We always loved to watch them.
Thanks to bring back all these moemories.
Have a nice day

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