Birthwatching: Observing Lyrurus and Snowcock

Every spring, on the top of Stepantsminda, you will meet Georgian and foreigner birdwatchers armed with binoculars, looking for two birds of the pheasant family, the Caucasian grouse lyrurus, and the Caucasian snowcock, living on the slopes of Kuro mountain.

Ways to catch sight of the birds:

Caucasian grouse lyrurus is relatively easy to find since they choose the same place for mating every year. The body of a male grouse is visible as a black spot against the grassy slope, just don’t forget to bring along your binoculars. Caucasian snowcocks live higher up on the mountain compared to the grouse and, thanks to their gray-colored feathers, hide well in the rocky debris.

Mornings in the Caucasus begin with the whistling of a snowcock. Although it’s impossible to find the bird by the sound alone, so grab a pair of good binoculars and use an experienced eye. 

What other surprises await you?

Birdwatchers in search of a snowcock will come across the East Caucasian tur. Looking through the telescope on the slopes of Kuro, you may find a brown bear or a lynx stalking the grouse.

If you can’t find the "Caucasian Five" (Caucasian grouse lyrurus, Caucasian snowcock, Caucasian leaf-warbler, rosefinches, and red-bellied true restarts) in the surroundings of Stefantsminda, move up towards the slopes of the glacier.

Important Information

The road from Gergeti church to Gergeti glacier is exhausting and requires good physical condition, sufficient equipment, and hiking experience. The tour takes one full day and you can spend the night in one of the hotels in Stepantsminda.

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