Alpine jackdaw (lat. Pyrrhocorax graculus) is a bird of the corvid family. These are birds that look like crows they have the same black plumage and they are able to make the characteristic sounds “kaa-ka”. These are fast birds that live in groups, but during the mating season they live with their pair and do not change it during the entire life period.
Slender black bird. Its size is the same as that of an ordinary jackdaw. Body length reaches 35-40 cm, body weight 190-250 g. The wingspan is 65-75cm. The alpine jackdaw is dominated by a short yellow beak it is shorter than the head and is bent at the end. The mandible at the base is feathered by about 1/3 of the.
The bird has long, wide wings and a slightly rounded tail. Jackdaw flies excellently and is able to parry in the air for a long time, perform various spirals, dive. She can also climb trees.
The color of adults is characterized by black, with a greenish, less often bluish metallic sheen. Beak lemon yellow. Red limbs with black claws. Eyes are dark brown. Young jackdaws have brown plumage, and their limbs and beak are dirty yellow.
The Alpine Jackdaw is a noisy bird whose voice is similar to the sound of thrushes.
Where does it live
Alpine jackdaws can be found in mountain systems over a vast territory from Spain to the western regions of China. Jackdaws tend to nest on rocks with nearby alpine pastures. The bird shows excellent flying maneuvers. Found only at high altitude. This is not a migratory bird, because it lives in one place all year round. This species is common in the Alps, the Italian region of Abruzzo, Kavka, in southern Turkey. Also found in the Balkan Peninsula, Cyprus, the Himalayas.
In Africa, these birds are found in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
Black birds live in alpine meadows, despite their harsh climate. Birds prefer to settle in one place. If they go to a new place, rise up. Birds come down only in search of food. It is extremely rare for alpine jackdaws to fly far from their original habitat. In other territories they form in small groups.
Behavior and nutrition
Depending on the time of year, jackdaws eat differently. In summer, birds prefer beetles, snails, caterpillars, grasshoppers, larvae. In autumn and winter, they eat plant foods, eat sea buckthorn and wild rose, and also enjoy fruits. Among other things, alpine jackdaws tend to eat leftover food in the dumps of ski resorts. Juveniles are especially fond of such food, since there is no need to show their skills in hunting.
Alpine jackdaws come out in search of food in groups. Adults do not allow young birds to intercept food they become dominant.
Reproduction and offspring
Jackdaws are monogamous birds. These birds form permanent pairs. In this species of birds, it is customary not to part with a partner even after the mating season. Jackdaws begin to breed at the end of spring.
Birds do not tend to form columns, but nests are often arranged close to each other. Jackdaws build nests in caves and crevices, take root on rocky ledges. Form large “houses”, making their structure loose. Birds use sticks, knots, plant stems to build a nest. Inside lined with grass, wool, fluff.
The female lays 3-5 eggs; they have a whitish tint, the shell is covered with brown patches. The female incubates the eggs for 2-3 weeks. Chicks are born with light fluff. Both parents are involved in feeding the chick. When the cubs are 1 month old, he becomes on the wing, but for some time the female and male continue to feed the chicks. The survival rate of jackdaws in the first year of life is 77%.
Protection of jackdaws and natural enemies
The population of Alpine jackdaws is about 3.5 million individuals. In general, the species is considered stable and not at risk of extinction. This species inhabits a large area. The area inhabited by birds covers approximately 3.7 million km2.
The natural enemies of the Alpine jackdaws are the Tibetan fox, the golden eagle, the peregrine falcon, the eagle owl.
Interesting facts include the fact that jackdaws are considered the smallest birds from the crow family. These birds are able to understand the pointing look, therefore they easily track where a person is looking. This ability helps birds find hidden food.
Some more interesting facts:
Jackdaws are fast moving birds. When they move in flocks, from afar it seems that these are black clouds rushing in the sky. Friendly birds have many hidden talents, they are fast and perspicacious they can find their own food, regardless of the season.