Chough

We were lucky enough to see a flock of about 20 of theses fantastic birds up at Holyhead Mountain last week

While its black plumage identifies it as a crow, the chough (pronounced ‘chuff’) has a red bill and legs unlike any other member of the crow family. It has a restricted westerly distribution in the British Isles and because of its small population size and historically declining populations it is an Amber List species. It readily displays its mastery of flight with wonderful aerial displays of diving and swooping. They build a lined stick nest and lay three to five eggs. They feed, usually in flocks, on short grazed grassland, taking mainly invertebrate prey, supplemented by vegetable material or food from human habitation, especially in winter. The Alpine chough has been observed following mountaineers ascending Mount Everest at an altitude of 8,200 m (26,900 ft).

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