Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chough

"Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax -Penwith -Cornwall -flying-8b" by Andrew - originally posted to Flickr as chough. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pyrrhocorax_pyrrhocorax_-Penwith_-Cornwall_-flying-8b.jpg#/media/File:Pyrrhocorax_pyrrhocorax_-Penwith_-Cornwall_-flying-8b.jpg
My final catch-up post is of one of my favourite birds: the Chough, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, the red-legged red-billed member of the crow family and one of our rarest. It is confined to coasts in Wales and Cornwall. It is the county bird of Cornwall but absent for around fifty years until it re-colonised in 2001. The Latin name refers to the ancient belief that it was drawn to and caused fires, although the means by which it initiated conflagrations was never clearly elucidated. It has broader more rectangular wings in proportion to its body when compared with the other crows, with long separate primary 'fingers' which are seen clearly in the photo. It's call is described by the inestimably Geoff Sample as "whizzing zings" which is a perfectly succinct summary.
 
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