Sunday, 25 August 2013

Corvids in Innsbruck

Since I'm in Innsbruck I could observe different species of the family Corvidae. Species which I can't observe easily at home, so the first days I was surprised to see so many individuals of these species.

In the city itself I could see a lot of Carrion Crows (Corvus corone), they dominate the city, specially in gardens and green areas, together with Blackbirds (Turdus merula). First I thought they were Ravens (Corvus corax) but I realized that I was wrong when I saw the real Ravens on grasslands and meadows outside the city. Their size and grave calls made clear the differences.

Another species I find sometimes here is the Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius), always among the trees and forests, it's very shy and I've seen it only for short times. Fortunately, it's easy to identify by its characteristic call.

The last of the species I've gotten the chance to see here is the Alpine Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus). They are in huge groups over Seegrube, a restaurant around 1900m over the sea level, and take advantage of the tourists and hikers who feed them.

Some Alpine Choughs asking for something to eat.
But where is the Queen of Corvidae: the Magpie (Pica pica)? I've hardly seen one all these months. Which are the conditions to make Magpies advantaged in Catalonia but not in Tyrol?

Finally, as it's usually said in English, last but not least, I want to share a video to show the intelligence of this kind of birds.

Just in case you don't get what it's doing, first it tries to grab a little box inside the tube (where there is food) with a wire. I find this already quite ingenious. But it can't, so it bends the wire to make a hook! I know some humans who probably are not so clever. There are a few videos like this in YouTube, I invite you to take a glance at them.

Do you know any other video like this worth sharing?