Wanted: Alpine Chough

ringed alpine chough

If you see a ringed alpine chough while hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc, please take a photo, mark the GPS location and send it to contact@creamontblanc.org. This way you can help scientists to learn more about this magnificent alpine bird.

30 years of research

The scientists at the CREA Mont Blanc research station in Chamonix, France have been monitoring alpine chough populations for the last 30 years. Ringing the birds and collecting data on their whereabouts help gather insights in population demographics. However, following the birds in their alpine terrain is difficult. That’s why all help is welcome, including pictures of ringed birds taken by hikers!

Take a picture

A ringed alpine chough has two rings on each leg, so four rings in total. To identify a bird, the scientists need to be able to see the colour of each ring. In other words: a picture showing all four rings is necessary to be able to identify an individual bird. Taking a picture of an alpine chough might not be easy since these birds always seem to be in motion, but thankfully, they’re curious little creatures: they are often attracted by hikers and their picnics and are also a common sight at lift stations. These are the moments where you might be lucky enough to capture an image of a ringed alpine chough.  

A mystery chough on the Skyway

In order to help the wildlife researchers at CREA, please keep an eye out for these black feathered alpine birds while hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc. Especially, on your rest day in Courmayeur during your visit of the top Skyway station. There are rumors of an unidentified ringed chough flying around there. Keep your eyes peeled and camera ready when you’re soaking in the views on the top station, you might be able to snap a photo of the bird and solve the mystery of it’s identity.

Alpine Chough
Wanted: The Alpine Chough. Photo credit: CREA Mont Blanc.

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Wildlife in the Alps: Spotlight on the Alpine Chough

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Simone van Velzen

About Simone van Velzen

In her work as an alpine naturalist Simone adds an exciting new dimension to your Tour du Mont Blanc trek with insights into the incredibly rich flora and fauna of the Alps. Simone studied Wildlife Management at the Van Hall Institute in the Netherlands. After her studies she left her home country (which is flatter than a pancake) and moved to British Columbia. In the Canadian Rockies, she discovered the astonishing richness of mountain environments. Her passion for mountain nature was born. And when she returned to Europe, she based herself in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, the perfect setting for exploring and studying the natural history of mountain environments. As an alpine naturalist she writes for outdoor magazines and leads excursions in the natural world. If you step into the natural world with Simone, her passion for all living things—wild flowers to lichen, birds to mammals—can’t help but rub off on you. She’s excited to meet you on your Tour du Mont Blanc and share the amazing natural wonders in the Alps.

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