(Last Updated on : 14/03/2017)
The Indian Subcontinent provides suitable habitats to various species of birds
for residing and nesting. Choughs are no exception in this regard. Red-Billed Chough and Alpine Chough are the two choughs which have been recorded in India. They belong to the kingdom, Animalia
; phylum, Chordata
; class, Aves
; order, Passeriformes
; family, Corvidae
; and genus, Pyrrhocorax
. These choughs are described below.
breeds in the Indian Subcontinent. This cough is a glossy black plumaged bird. As the name of the bird may suggest, it has a bill which is red in color and is long and curved. The adult of the nominate subspecies of the red-billed chough namely, P. p. pyrrhocorax
is a velvet-black plumaged bird, with green-gloss on the body. The bird has long curved red bill and red colored legs. If the bird has an orange colored bill and pink colored legs (until its first autumn) and less glossy plumaged, it can then be identified as a juvenile.
The red-billed chough is unlikely to be confused with any other species of bird. India is one of the countries in which the eight subspecies of Red-Billed Chough breed. The names of some of the subspecies are P. p. pyrrhocorax, P. p. erythropthalmus, P. p. barbarous
and P. p. docilis
can be identified in terms of glossy black plumage. Its beak is yellow in color and the legs are red in appearance. The adult of the nominate subspecies of the Alpine Chough is also a glossy black bird, has a short yellow colored bill and red colored legs. The bird has dark brown colored irises. If the bird is duller with a dull yellow colored bill and brownish legs, it can then be identified as a juvenile. The subspecies P. g. digitatus
averages slightly larger than the nominate form.
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