Befriending Choughs: How To Get Close To These Fascinating Birds

Where to Find Choughs

Choughs are members of the crow family found primarily in the mountains of Europe and Asia. These birds are usually found in high altitudes, often around cliffs, rocky areas, and mountain pastures. The species is especially abundant in the UK and Ireland, where they can be seen in large flocks. Choughs are also found in small numbers in some parts of North Africa and the Middle East.

The Characteristics of Choughs

Choughs are medium-sized birds, with a length of about 12-14 inches and a wingspan of about 24 inches. They have black plumage and bright red legs and feet. Choughs are known for their agility and are able to fly quickly, with a characteristic “flapping” flight pattern. They are also known for their loud, chattering calls.

Behavior and Diet

Choughs are social birds and can often be seen in large flocks. They are omnivorous and feed on a variety of insects, small mammals, and plants. They also have a fondness for grains, and can often be seen eating grain and other plant matter from fields and farms. Choughs are also known to eat carrion.

Getting Close To Choughs

Choughs are usually quite wary of humans and can be quite skittish. However, with some patience and the right approach, it is possible to get quite close to these fascinating birds. The best way to do this is by offering them food. Choughs are attracted to grain and other plant matter, so offering them food can help to build up trust. Choughs are also known to be quite curious and can sometimes be encouraged by gentle movements from humans. It is important to remain quiet and still when around these birds, as sudden movements can startle them.

The Benefits of Befriending Choughs

Spending time around choughs can be incredibly rewarding. Not only do they have beautiful plumage and interesting behaviors, but they can also provide a connection with nature that can be quite calming. Additionally, observing choughs can help to build a greater appreciation for the natural environment and the importance of conservation.


Choughs are fascinating birds that can be quite rewarding to observe. With some patience and the right approach, it is possible to get quite close to these birds. Doing so can provide a connection to nature that can be quite calming and can also help to build an appreciation for the importance of preserving the environment. If you are ever lucky enough to see these birds in their natural habitat, it is important to remember to remain quiet and still, and to be respectful of the wildlife.

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