What is A Chough Bird: Food, Habitat, Sound, Chicks & More

What is A Chough Bird: Food, Habitat, Sound, Chicks & More

What is A Chough Bird?

what is a chough bird, there are two species of passerine birds called Chough. These two are the red-billed Chough and Alpine Chough (yellow-billed Chough). They belong to the genus of the crow family. The choughs are medium-sized corvids with black plumages. The legs, feet, and bills of these birds are brightly colored. They have broad wings with widely spread long primaries that look during flight. The bill of Chough is red and also curves downwards. The eye color of these birds is black. Both the males and females have the same appearance.

What is A Chough Bird: Food, Habitat, Sound, Chicks & More
What is A Chough Bird: Food, Habitat, Sound, Chicks & More

The young choughs are duller than adults and have an orange color bill. They have pink or grey legs and feet, whereas adults have red feet and legs. The only difference between the two choughs is their bill color.

What is the habitat of Choughs?

The choughs are mainly live in the mountains of southern Eurasia and North Africa. These birds are known as mountain specialists, as they are found in Morocco, Spain, southern Europe, and the Alps. You can also see them in remote locations in the far west of Cornwall, western Scotland, and Wales.

Choughs also like to live in caves and mine shafts, cavities of old ruined buildings, steep rock faces, and sea caves in the form of nests. It makes their nests slender woody branches and roots lined with mud and other softer materials like wool.

What do Choughs eat?

The choughs mainly feed invertebrates, grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles, snails, and other fly larvae. Ants are the favorite food of these birds. They have capabilities to find those areas that are favorable for their feeding. They will also pick up insects from the ground with the help of their bills. They can get their prey from short-grazed pasture.

The choughs are also included in damaging barley crops as they get their feed, like corn, by smashing their ripping heads. You can also them to eat the plants and other fruits. They rely on fruits and berries when they need help getting animals as quickly as their prey.

In the winter season, they mostly rely on tourist activities for their food in mainly mountain regions like refuse dumps, picnic areas, and ski resorts. They also take different vegetables as their winter diet. In the eastern Himalayas, they mainly live in Juniper forests, and they also see them feeding juniper berries. They are also known as small mollusks and lichen.

How does a Chough breed?

The breeding season of Choughs starts between March and May. Both male and female begin to build their nest before breed. They build their nest in cavities of old buildings, dark spaces in caves, rock faces, cliff faces and ledges, and mine shafts. What is a chough bird, the nest is made of woody branches, roots, sticks, and stems of plants and is also lined with softer materials such as mud, animal hair, and wool. The nest was used for several years but re-lined each time.

Choughs are monogamous birds in nature. During the breeding season, they get close to their nests. Female Chough lays 3-5 eggs with an interval of 1-3 days in April. The eggs of Chough are cream or green in color with brown and grey markings. The only female incubates her eggs for 17-21 days while the male feeds them. The young ones used regurgitated food that contained insects, ants, and other things to eat.

These young chicks get full of their plumage at 40 days but cannot leave their nests alone. They become sexually mature at the age of 3 years.

What does a Chough sound like?

The Chough belongs to the family of crows, and thus, they have relatively similar sounds to them. But their sound mostly resembles the jackdaw bird. The only difference between these two sounds is the pitch of the sound. The choughs have a more transparent, louder, and chew-call sound.

What does a Chough symbolize?                   

The Chough is mainly used as a symbol of brutality. The red color of Chough’s beak and feet is connected with the blood and claimed by several traditions. They are also associated with different historical deaths. The name of the chough bird is used as a symbol of massacre, sacrifice, good character, martyrdom, and transformation.

The choughs are also used as a sign of searching or uncovering. As the means of Cornish Chough is a digger. Therefore, they dig in the soil to search for their food. They have great importance for the history and culture of Cornish.

In Native American Symbolism

The choughs are not mainly found throughout the Americas country. Therefore, they cannot generally apply as symbols in Native American tribes. But, the choughs are also used in different myths based on similar characteristics of the crows. The ravens and crows are essential in many traditions due to their intelligence features. They are also treated as heroes.

In Christianity Symbolism

What is a chough bird, Christian symbolism uses the Chough as a sign of fatality, sacrifice, and repentance. Chough’s red beak and feet are connected with the blood and claim. In myths of Christianity, the Chough is related to the story of the murder of Thomas Becket.

Thomas Becket was chief of bishop at Canterbury during the twelfth century. Henry II, the king of that time, began to reveal his power over the archbishop to dominate the church. But Thomas Becket refused to accept his offer and warned him to excommunicate if he tried again to use the unwarranted authority over the church. When King Henry II got his crown back, he stopped the chief of bishops from using his rights to coronations. After that, Thomas Becket went through with his threat and officially had three bishops involved.

The men of King Henry II later killed Thomas Becket due to his actions. The death of Thomas Becket was related to an important event.

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