Red-billed chough Facts

Red-billed chough Facts
Red-billed chough is small to medium-sized bird that belongs to the crow family. There are 8 subspecies of red-billed chough that can be found in Europe, Africa and Asia. Red-billed choughs inhabit coastal areas, mountains, steppes and farmlands. They can be found from the sea level to the altitude of 28.060 feet. Red-billed choughs were hunted for sport during the 19th and 20th century. Accelerated development of agriculture, loss of pastoral farming and climate changes are the greatest threats for their survival today. Despite these factors, red-billed choughs are still not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Red-billed chough Facts:
Red-billed chough can reach 15 to 16 inches in length and 10.9 ounces of weight.
Red-billed chough has black glossy plumage and red bill. Males and females look alike. Juveniles are slightly duller in color and have yellow bill.
Red-billed chough has long, curved bill, long rectangular wings and long, square-shaped tail.
Red-billed chough is proficient flier, able to perform various acrobatics in the air.
Red-billed chough is an omnivore (it eats both plants and meat). Its diet is based mostly on insects, spiders and larvae, and occasionally on grains such as barley and corn. Red-billed chough uses its long bill to extract edible items from the soil and dung and to find prey hidden under plants and stones.
Red-billed chough also eats parasites. It often collects ticks from the wool on the sheep' back.
Red-billed chough is sedentary (non-migratory) bird.
Natural enemies of red-billed choughs are peregrine falcon, golden eagle, eagle-owl (they hunt adult birds) and common raven (which feeds on young birds).
Red-billed choughs breed solitary or organized in small, loose colonies (depending on the available area).
Red-billed choughs use high-pitched, ringing calls for communication.
Red-billed choughs mate for a lifetime (monogamous birds). Male provides food for the female and they preen each other as a part of courtship ritual.
Male builds nest on the sea cliffs or inside abandoned buildings, caves and mine shafts. Nest is made of dry vegetation and lined with wool.
Red-billed choughs produce one brood per season. Female lays 2 to 6 eggs (3 on average) that hatch after 18 days. Male provides food for the female during the incubation period.
Both parents provide food and take part in raising of chicks (only male brings food to the nest during the first 10 days after hatching). Chicks leave the nest for the first time at the age of 31 to 41 days. They depend on their parents (for food and protection) during the next 5 weeks. After that period, young red-billed choughs begin independent life. Red-billed choughs reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 years.
Red-billed chough can survive 17 years in the wild (7 years is an average lifespan).

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