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No Crows With Pink Beaks within the Americas


Red-billed chough in China, 10 Jan 2022 (photo by Amaël Borzée via GBIF.org and iNaturalist)

8 December 2022

Back in 2015 I blogged about a Corvid called a red-billed chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) using the title Crows with Red Beaks? The chough (pronounced “chuff) occurs on mountains and coastal cliffs from the west coasts of Ireland and Britain to southern Europe, North Africa, Central Asia, India and China. It is often found in the Himalayas but never seen in North, South, or Central America.

Sightings of red-billed chough (map from ebird.org, 8 Dec 2022)

However, in the past seven years, 41 North American readers have commented that they have seen a chough in their neighborhood. Sometimes I reply with the unlikeliness of the sighting and in June 2018 I updated the article with suggestions on what they might have seen instead.

A wild chough in the Americas is such rare bird sighting that it would have made international birding news, like the sighting of a Steller’s sea eagle in Maine. Even so the chough sighting comments keep coming in, including two just last month. Still no news though.

Read the original posting and comments at the link below. What do you think they’ve seen? I’m stumped.

(photo from GBIF.org via iNaturalist, map from eBird; click on the captions to see the originals)

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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