Historic Cornish birds making a comeback

May 10th, 2016

The bird that features on Cornwall’s coat of arms, the Cornish chough, has made a surprising and amazing return to the Duchy after it disappeared in the 1970s, and the chough chorus can be heard once again.

DNA tests showed that the chough returned from Ireland around fifteen years ago, and its population continues to grow once again in Cornwall, with the number of breeding pairs now reaching double figures.

There will be around 100 volunteers keeping watch on nests of the Cornish chough, as there is around 12 potential breeding pairs this spring. A slow recovery for the bird is being welcomed in Cornwall, as the sight and sound of them has been absent for three decades.

Alix Lord is one of the volunteers, stating, “I was just so excited, we kept an eye on them and amazingly they settled. I would not expect now to walk the cliff and not hear a chough.”

Claire Mucklow manages the RSPB’s chough work and said: “It only seems like yesterday we were wondering if those first choughs would stay and if so would they breed, it makes me very proud to have been part of their amazing story over the last 15 years and see how support for the choughs has grown.”

When staying at our luxury cottages in Cornwall, you might be able to spot Cornish choughs along the north, south or west coast of the county. It can be recognised by its similarity to a crow, but with a red beak and legs. The National Trust’s watch point at Lizard is a great place to find out some more information about this historic bird.

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Photo by: Bob Jones