Alpine Chough

      Pyrrhocorax graculus

      Information

      Most mountain hikers are familiar with the Alpine Chough, a faithful companion with impressive flight skills allowing it to glide round the highest peaks and brave all winds and weathers. All-year- round tourism allows these birds to hold out at altitudes of over 3000 m even during the winter. Near mountain restaurants and picnic areas they discard all shyness of humans and treat themselves to food from tourists. When bad weather sets in, flocks of Alpine Choughs descend into the valleys even in summer where they circle over villages and are regarded as harbingers of early snow falls. Like many crows, Alpine Choughs are monogamous and mate for life. A partner loyalty of more than eight years has been verified.

      Voice

      Status (in CH)
      widely breeding resident
      Annual cycle
      The bar on the top line indicates during which seasons the species can be observed regularly in Switzerland. There can be great seasonal fluctuations of numbers. The middle bar indicates the typical migration seasons of a species. The bottom bar indicates the period during which the species normally breeds. As a rule it spans the period from egg-laying to fledging of the young.
      Annual cycle
      Annual cycle

      Facts

      Population size in Switzerland (Pairs)
      11'000 - 21'000 (2013-2016)
      Migration behaviour
      resident
      Length (cm)
      36-39
      wing span (cm)
      65-74
      Weight (g)
      180-270
      Nest site
      crevices
      Food
      rubbish, spiders, insects, mammals, birds, fruits
      Group
      Crows
      Habitat
      alpine habitats
      Distribution
      Distribution
      Distribution