Birdwatching and mist-netting in the Dolomite Alps

A visit to South Tyrol and its amazing Dolomite Alps produced beautiful and instructive sightings of mountain birds, some photos and very good mist-netting (bird ringing) at Val Gardena with some of the certainly very few Ladin speaking bird ringers in the world!

There were many highlights of our two days up at Gardena Pass/Jëuf de Frea/Grödner Joch/Passo Gardena. What struck me the most was the never-ending traffic of seemingly hundreds of Nutcrackers (Nucifraga caryocatactes) transporting throat sacs full of seeds of Swiss Pine (Pinus cembra) across the pass from southwest to northeast. We caught around 30 of them in the mist nets (all but one adults!), nearly all of them with dozens of pine seeds in their sublingual pouches.

Dilan to Iacun Prugger for making this possible and for your overwhelming hospitality!