One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A black Eurasian and North African bird of the crow family, with a downcurved bill and broad, rounded wings, typically frequenting mountains and sea cliffs.
Genus Pyrrhocorax (and Pseudopodoces), family Corvidae: three species, especially the (red-billed) chough (P. pyrrhocorax)
- ‘The Dingle Peninsula has been highlighted as an international stronghold for an endangered Irish bird, the distinctive red-billed chough.’
- ‘Stackpole is also home to the chough, a much rarer bird.’
- ‘Along with barnacle geese and choughs, whisky is one of the principal magnets drawing visitors to this hugely rewarding island.’
- ‘Now the sheer cliffs are inhabited by choughs, golden eagles, feral goats and basking seals.’
- ‘The sea stretches out before them and on a clear day, the shores of Ireland can be seen and brimming with wildlife it is not unusual to spot the rare chough, wild mountain goats or a seal in the sea nearby.’
2A black and white Australian bird of the mud-nester family.
Corcorax melanorhamphos, family Corcoracidae (or Grallinidae)
- ‘A flock of white-winged choughs dropped in to feed the other day.’
- ‘At Ngarkat and Karte conservation parks, you can see everything from ring-necked parrots, honeyeaters and white-winged choughs, to Australian bustards, yellow-tailed black cockatoos and sometimes even a rare Mallee emu-wren or the Mallee ningaui.’
- ‘While paired Australian magpie-larks like to travel with their mates, both apostlebirds and white-winged choughs prefer to flock in small groups of up to twenty birds.’
- ‘Birds here are diverse and include honeyeaters, pilotbirds, cockatoos, pied currawongs, white-winged choughs, and laughing kookaburras, the largest kingfisher in Australia.’
- ‘Emus, mallee fowl, miners and white-winged choughs can be found away from the lakes.’
Middle English (originally denoting the jackdaw): probably imitative.
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