Saturday, August 21, 2010
Chough: Learn to Impress
The most elegant member of the crow family, the chough has a bright red bill and feet, which provides a striking contrast to his glossy black plumage. According to Cornish lore, the chough’s character is as white as his plumage is black. From early times, the chough has been associated with Cornwall (U.K.). In fact, the Welsh called the chough “Bran Gernyw” (Crow of Cornwall).
Unlike the crow and the rook, the chough does not nest in large groups. Instead, he nests near his friends, on rugged mountain slopes, rocky valleys, or sea cliffs. This friendly bird has a buoyant flight that attracts attention. He uses updrafts and wind currents to swoop and dive past rock faces. Performing aerobatic displays, the chough dives with his wings drawn in or turns on his back in midair.
The chough has rituals for many things. When an interloper comes to a feeding site, the chough will stand upright with his bill pointed down and feathers smooth, indicating that he is ready to fight. When the chough wants to court, he struts towards the female with his tail turned upward, feathers ruffled, wings and head down. When pairing, the two birds will preen each other.
The chough is the national emblem for Cornwall. To the Cornish, the chough is the guardian of the Spirit of King Arthur, who will one day return to free his people. In Cornwall, King Arthur’s spirit entered the chough after his death, with the bird’s red beak and feet signifying the blood of Arthur’s battles. However, the chough disappeared from Cornwall in the 1950s. Much to everyone surprise, the chough came back to Cornwall in 2000, when three wild choughs nested in West Cornwall.
The chough teaches being impressive. This black bird, with his red beak and legs, is famous for his acrobatic flight. In his tumbling display flights, the chough makes a truly impressive sight as an astonishingly accomplished and graceful flyer. Learn to impress as the chough does.