Redbilled chough

Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax subfamily

Corvinae taxonomy

Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax Linnaeus, 1758, England. Eight subspecies.

other common names

English: Chough; French: Crave a bec rouge; German: Alpenkrähe; Spanish: Chova piquirroja.

physical characteristics

14.04-15.6 in (36-40 cm); 9.97-13.3 oz (285-380 g). Plumage is velvet-black with a slight bluish purple to greenish gloss on the body; wings and tail are glossier. Slender, curved bill is red, as are legs and feet.

distribution

Widespread in mountainous areas of central and western Asia. Patchy distribution in Europe and northwest Africa.

habitat

Rocky, mountainous areas with adjacent animal pasture. Western European populations use sea cliffs.

behavior

Territorial during breeding season, but allows third adult in territory. Highly gregarious at other times and roosts colo-nially in caves or rock crevices.

Nucifraga caryocatactes H Resident H Nonbreeding

Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax

H Resident feeding ecology and diet

Soil feeder on ants, beetles, worms, and other invertebrates. Often finds food in animal dung.

reproductive biology

Solitary nester, constructing stick and animal hair nest at back of cave. Generally lays three to four eggs March through April. Incubation 17-21 days; fledging 36-41 days.

conservation status

Not threatened. Common in Asia, populations declining in Europe following changes in land use.

significance to humans None known. ♦

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