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Birds of the Irish mountains

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The Chough…
The chough is a member of the crow family of birds. The species in Ireland are the Red billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax). Their closest relatives outside the genus appear to be the jackdaws of the genus Corvus.
The choughs have black plumage and brightly coloured legs, feet, and  red bills, and are resident in the mountains and wind swept coastal regions of Ireland giving rise to the name ‘sea crow’  They have long broad wings and perform spectacular aerobatics accompanied by sharp “chaaow” calls. They pair for life and display fidelity to their breeding sites, which are usually caves or crevices in a cliff face. They build a lined stick nest and lay three to five eggs. They feed, usually in flocks, on short grazed grassland, taking mainly invertabrae prey, supplemented by vegetable material or food from human habitation, especially in winter.

The main threat to this genus is changes in agricultural practices, which have led to local population declines and range fragmentation.