Sunday, October 19, 2014

Alpine Choughs

I've always been curious about the birds that Susan couldn't identify in Susan Interferes. In Chapter 8 of this book, Susan, the Carmichaels and the Gascoignes go to the top of Mount Pilatus, where Susan is intrigued by some strange birds. "Huge black birds with gleaming feathers, red feet and yellow bills hopped tamely about... Susan wondered if they were ravens, but not even the Gascoignes, who usually knew everything, could tell her." Unlike Susan, people today have access to the internet and it doesn't take long to find out more about these birds. They are called Alpine Choughs and they are a type of crow. They are found all over southern Europe, northern Africa, central Asia, India and China. They nest at a higher altitude than any other bird and their eggs are specially adapted for the thinner atmosphere up on the mountains. They are also known as yellow-billed choughs or alpendohles.