Crows (Corvidae)

Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) - HBW 14, p. 615

French: Crave à bec rouge German: Alpenkrähe Spanish: Chova Piquirroja
Other common names: Common Chough; Cornish Chough (England)

Taxonomy: Upupa Pyrrhocorax Linnaeus, 1758, England.
Hybrids with P. graculus reported very rarely. Isolated race baileyi differs vocally from others; taxonomic investigation needed. Birds in Inner Mongolia and W Heilongjiang (NE China) of uncertain racial identity, currently included in brachypus. Races intergrade, and size tends to increase clinally towards S. Several other races proposed, based on minor differences and/or intermediate populations: pontifex (Elburz Mts, in N Iran) and subdocilis (Khrebet Mts, on Turkmenistan-NE Iran border) synonymized with docilis; and stresemanni (Sayan Mts, .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Upupa Pyrrhocorax Linnaeus, 1758, England.
Hybrids with P. graculus reported very rarely. Isolated race baileyi differs vocally from others; taxonomic investigation needed. Birds in Inner Mongolia and W Heilongjiang (NE China) of uncertain racial identity, currently included in brachypus. Races intergrade, and size tends to increase clinally towards S. Several other races proposed, based on minor differences and/or intermediate populations: pontifex (Elburz Mts, in N Iran) and subdocilis (Khrebet Mts, on Turkmenistan-NE Iran border) synonymized with docilis; and stresemanni (Sayan Mts, in S Russia) included in centralis. Race erythroramphos often misspelt "erythrorhamphos". Eight subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • pyrrhocorax ( Linnaeus, 1758) - N, W & S Ireland, W Scotland, I of Man, Wales and SW England (Cornwall).
  • erythroramphos ( Vieillot, 1817) - NE Portugal, Spain, NW & S France, SW Switzerland, C Italy, and Sardinia and Sicily.
  • barbarus Vaurie, 1954 - mountains of NW Africa (Morocco and Algeria); also Canary Is (La Palma).

     See all 8 subspecies
  • pyrrhocorax ( Linnaeus, 1758) - N, W & S Ireland, W Scotland, I of Man, Wales and SW England (Cornwall).
  • erythroramphos ( Vieillot, 1817) - NE Portugal, Spain, NW & S France, SW Switzerland, C Italy, and Sardinia and Sicily.
  • barbarus Vaurie, 1954 - mountains of NW Africa (Morocco and Algeria); also Canary Is (La Palma).
  • docilis ( S. G. Gmelin, 1774) - S Balkans, Greece (including Crete), and Turkey E to Caucasus, Levant (Lebanon, N Israel, C Syria), N Iraq, N Iran, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.
  • centralis Stresemann, 1928 - NW Himalayas NE through Altai to Mongolia and Buryatia (S Russia) and, in S, E to SW China (SW Xizang), Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • himalayanus ( Gould, 1862) - Himalayas E to Bhutan and NE India (Arunachal Pradesh) and to C & S China (C Gansu S to Sichuan and Yunnan).
  • brachypus ( Swinhoe, 1871) - NE & E China (Inner Mongolia and W Heilongjiang S to Ningxia, Shaanxi and Hebei).
  • baileyi Rand & Vaurie, 1955 - Simien (and nearby Mt Abune Yosef and Dilenta highlands) and Bale Mts, in Ethiopia.