Chough spotting

The chough is a member of the crow family, with striking red legs and a red beak. It was known as the "Crow of Cornwall" and appears on the county coat of arms. The birds have a distinctive "chee-ow" call which is perhaps best described as resembling a squeaky dog toy! They are also recognisable from feathers, spread like fingers, on their wing tips.

After several decades of extinction, a pair of choughs settled in 2001 on the Lizard Peninsula. Since then, the birds have successfully bred and been joined by a few more incoming birds, and the population has steadily grown and spread further across Cornwall. Each Cornish chough is fitted with one leg ring in the colours of St Piran's flag and two other colours on the opposite leg to identify them.

The choughs are looked after a group of volunteers known as the "Chough Watch" team. They need sightings from the public to help them track and protect the growing population.

How you can help

If you think you've seen a chough, take a photo if possible and email cornishchoughs@rspb.org.uk to report the sighting. This will help the "Chough Watch" team keep track of the growing population.

We've compiled a list of walks with a good chance of seeing choughs.