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Yellow-billed Chough

Pyrrhocorax graculus (Linnaeus, 1766)

Альпийская галка | Сарытұмсық шауқарға
adult

2016-08-27
Tuyuksu glacer. Ile Alatau National Park.
© Askar Isabekov

Description

Adult Yellow-billed Choughs both males and females have all black plumage with greenish or bluish metallic gloss. Bill is short, lemon-yellow. Legs are red, claws are black. Eyes are dark-brown. Juveniles in autumn have dim-black plumage without gloss; legs are off-yellow; bill is brownish. Size: male wing - 263-278, tail 171-187, bill 31, tarsus 42-46 mm; female wing 235-289, tail 159-181, bill 27-31, tarsus 29-42 mm. Weight - 202-280 gr.

Distribution

Yellow-billed Chough breeds throughout in Tien Shan (Talasskiy, Kirgizskiy, Zailiyskiy Alatau, Ketmen ridge), Dzhungarskiy Alatau and in southern Altai (Kurchumskiy ridge, Sorvenkovskiy Belok). A summer observation is known from Monrak. In autumn and winter birds regularly make vertical wanderings.

Biology

Yellow-billed Chough is common resident. It iinhabits rocky meadows in alpine belt and upper part of subalpine belt at 2500-3500 m in Tien Shan and 2000-2500 m in Altai. In winter Yellow-billed Chough visits upper forest belt also. It breeds in colonies up to several dozen pairs. Nest is built in crack of rock. Clutches of 5 eggs are probably laid in April - May. Juveniles fledge in early June - mid July. During the most part of the year Yellow-billed Choughs live in flocks of 100-1000 birds.

Subspecies

Pyrrhocorax graculus forsythi (Stolizka, 1874)

References

"Птицы Казахстана" том 5. "Наука". Алма-Ата, 1974. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.

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subspecies

Pyrrhocorax graculus forsythi
(Stolizka, 1874)

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