The Red-billed Chough

The Red-billed Chough of Iveragh

The Red-billed Chough is one of Ireland’s most unique species of crow. If you can get close enough to see its bright red legs and red beak, these features set it apart from all of the other crows present in the Irish landscape. Even from a distance, choughs have some useful characteristics that can be used to identify them. Their high-pitched call is often the first sign that there are choughs nearby.

 

As they do not migrate, their call can be heard ringing around the coastal cliff faces and agricultural grasslands of Ireland’s north, west and south coasts throughout the year. Choughs are found in large numbers across the southwest of Ireland, with counties Kerry and Cork being the biggest hotspot for choughs.

 

The Iveragh peninsula makes a great home for choughs for two reasons. The first, is the abundance of rocky coastal cliffs for choughs to build their nests. The second reason is the farming system that remains in parts of the peninsula. The cattle and sheep that graze Iveragh’s coastal landscape provide opportunities for choughs to search for invertebrates in the soil such as beetles, ants, earwigs, and the larvae of moths and flies.

 

The field boundaries such as grassy banks, stone walls, and earth banks that run throughout Iveragh’s farmland are also great places for choughs to forage, because they host so many of the bird’s favourite prey items.

Iveragh Chough Survey 2022
Time: 11.30pm - 1pm
Date: Saturday, 22nd January 2022
Location: Derrynane Beach

LIVE will host a workshop along the Derrynane Sand Dunes on Saturday 22nd of January to kick off our new community outreach project on the Red-billed Chough. Attendees will be provided with all of the information they need to conduct ‘chough surveys’ in their own local area. These surveys will be used to inform a report on Iveragh’s choughs, which will provide a strong base of knowledge on the peninsula’s chough population. 

For anyone wishing to participate in a community outreach project on Iveragh's Red-billed Choughs, the following resources will help you to conduct 'Chough Surveys' in your own locality. Your surveys will be invaluable in building knowledge on these charismatic birds.

Introducing the Iveragh Chough Surveys
Submit a Chough Survey Online
Submit a Chough Survey on Paper
Identifying the Red-billed Chough
Chough pair - Llyn Peninsula - Ben Porter.jpg
 
Learn about the Red-billed Chough
School Resources
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LIVE has developed a number of educational resources to provide further information on the ecology of the Red-billed Chough, and how parts of Ireland’s coastal landscape can provide them with the resources required to sustain healthy populations.

The first of these resources is a PowerPoint presentation which we hope can provide students with an understanding of the Red-billed Chough and its place within the Irish landscape.

Download our Red-billed Chough PowerPoint Presentation

Download some fun chough activity sheets here to use on their own, or to compliment the PowerPoint Presentation.

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Choughs - Online talk

On Wednesday, 8th of September, 2021, Knowledge Gatherer, Fiach Byrne presented his research project about the Red-billed Chough at a public talk.

Click the link to view Fiach's presentation

Red-billed Chough Gallery

A selection of photographs of the Red-billed Chough on the Iveragh Peninsula in Ireland and Llŷn Peninsula in Wales

Derrynane Bealtra chough flock on rock - LL
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Derrynane managed grass chough group - LL
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Skellig way chough - LL
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Chough in flight - Ben Porter- Live Project
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Chough close-up - Llyn Peninsula - Ben Porter
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Chough up close - Ben Porter
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Chough pair - Llyn Peninsula - Ben Porter
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Bealtra pier chough flight - LL
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Choughs in flight - Llyn Peninsula - Ben Porter
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More on the Red-billed Chough

Read some of our previous blog posts about the Red-billed Chough on the Llŷn and Iveragh Peninsulas', and see how the choughs of Iveragh compare to their Welsh cousins:

 

Gathering local knowledge about the Red-billed Chough

Coming soon -  a new community outreach project about the iconic Red-billed Chough of the Iveragh Peninsula

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Choughs are a protected species under the Wildlife Act