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Life at Norlha Blog

The Alpine Chough

Ritoma resounds with the cawking of black birds that flutter on the grassland and compete with pigeons for nesting spots between the beams of houses. The chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus) is a socially monogamous high altitude bird from the crow family. It has a distinctive glossy black plumage and a short yellow bill. It has a buoyant and easy flight and its rippling preep and whistleld "sweeeooo" calls can be heard all over Ritoma.

Ritoma is almost entirely treeless, and birds are often left to build their nests on the open pasture or on rock formations. Houses are therefore highly prized for nesting and the presence of a chough family on the roof is considered auspicious.