Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A crowlike Old World bird of the genus Pyrrhocorax, especially P. pyrrhocorax, having black plumage and red legs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Two species of bird of the genus Pyrrhocorax in the crow family Corvidae that breed mainly in high mountains and on coastal sea cliffs of Eurasia.
  • n. The white-winged chough, of genus Corcorax in the Australian mud-nest builders family, Corcoracidae, that inhabits dry woodlands.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A bird of the Crow family (Fregilus graculus) of Europe. It is of a black color, with a long, slender, curved bill and red legs; -- also called chauk, chauk-daw, chocard, Cornish chough, red-legged crow. The name is also applied to several allied birds, as the Alpine chough.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An oscine passerine bird of the family Corvidæ, the red-legged or Cornish crow, Fregilus or Pyrrhocorax graculus, of a black color, with red feet and beak.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a European corvine bird of small or medium size with red legs and glossy black plumage

Etymologies

Middle English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English choȝe, from Old English cēo, from Proto-Germanic *kēwōn (compare Norwegian kaie), from Proto-Indo-European *geh₁(i)- ‘sing’ (compare Lithuanian giedóti, Tocharian A kāk 'he calls upon', Sanskrit गायति (gāyati)). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It is regarded as one of the most environmentally important stretches of countryside in Snowdonia because it is untouched by intensive farming and is home to many wildlife species of international importance such as kingfishers, otters and the chough.

    Llyndy Isaf farm in Wales saved by National Trust after £1m appeal

  • The Lancaster forces were routed and King Henry, the poor wandering lost King Henry who does not know fully where he is, even when he is in his palace at Whitehall, has run away into the moors of Northumberland, a price on his head as if he were an outlaw, without attendants, without friends, without even followers, like a borderer rebel as wild as a chough.

    The White Queen

  • It's amazingly easy even for a risk-averse skier like me to glide into a pristine place of rock towers and finches, Alpine chough and vultures.

    Making Tracks Through Spain's Pyrenees

  • I have known it somehow happen, that those on whom your Imperial Majesty has lavished the most valuable expressions of your favour one day, were the next day food to fatten the chough and crow.

    Count Robert of Paris

  • Pengwinion, you Cornish chough, has this good wind blown you north? —

    Redgauntlet

  • Over 50 resident and 30 migrant species have been recorded and include one pair of breeding chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax and peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus.

    Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast, United Kingdom

  • Among the 102 species of birds are spotted eagle Aquila clanga (VU), golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos, capercaillie Tetrao urogallus, hazel grouse Bonasa bonasia, eagle owl Bubo bubo, black woodpecker Dryocopus martius, three-toed woodpecker Picoides trydactilus and Alpine chough Pyrrhocorax graculus.

    Pirin National Park, Bulgaria

  • Three Palaearctic species, golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) breed in the Bale Mountains, their only known breeding sites outside the north temperate zone.

    Ethiopian montane moorlands

  • Lear, the old buffer, you wonder his daughters didn't treat him rougher, the old chough, the old chuffer!

    "When I Read Shakespeare"

  • If you haven't the slightest notion what a chough is or how to pronounce it, read his post.

    Archive 2006-10-01

Comments

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  • Overhead go the choughs in black, cacophonous flocks --
    Bits of burnt paper wheeling in a blown sky.
    Theirs is the only voice, protesting, protesting.


    --Sylvia Plath, "Blackberrying"

    December 25, 2012

  • Image can be found here.

    August 26, 2008

  • One of my favorite birds!

    February 29, 2008

  • "...he contemplated the birds: a few razorbills and guillemots... some rock-doves, and a small band of choughs..."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Letter of Marque, 161

    February 29, 2008

  • "'You spoke very chough to Mr Davidge, and you murmured. You must beg his pardon.'

    "After some moments of hesitation, with the men looking at one another with doubtful faces, Auden said, 'The rub is he is such a fine gentleman, sir; we are only simple chaps, and should not know what to say.'

    "'You must go up to him,' said Jack, 'and pull off your hats, as is right, and one of you must say, "We ask your pardon, sir, for answering chough, and murmuring."'"
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Letter of Marque, 146

    February 29, 2008