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chough
(Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)

distribution

The global range of the chough extends from the European Atlantic coast through to the mountainous regions of Europe and Asia. In Britain, it is restricted to the west coast of Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

habitat

Choughs are restricted to coastal cliff and also to mountainous regions in Britain. However, historically, they had a larger distribution throughout mainland Britain. They are primarily found in mountainous regions of Europe.

biological characteristics

They have glossy, black plumage and a long curved red bill and red legs. Young choughs have an orange bill and legs until they reach their first autumn.

conservation status

Protected under Schedule I Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Annex I of EC Birds Directive and Appendix II of the Berne Convention.

factfile

  • The black-plumed chough became a symbol of Cornwall because of its legendary link with King Arthur.

  • Their eggs which are laid in April or May have grey and brown spots.

  • They eat insects, beetles and other invertebrates.

  • They nest in cliffs or hollow crags. The nest itself is bulky and made of heather and lined with wool.

animal
fact file

Donkeys often live for 25 years or more. Some have been recorded as living to the ripe old age of 60, although a 40 year-old donkey is considered to be elderly.