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HNV Showcases

Chough – the story


Coastal landscape. Especially in winter, the driftline on certain sandy beaches are important foraging sites as well as places where arable silage or grains have been fed to livestock.
This part of Islay features all necessary habitat structures for the Chough: natural caves in coastal cliffs or suitable buildings with nesting sites. They also serve as communal roosting places. A wide range of different grasslands rich in invertebrate life, with areas of open soil as a result of low-intensity grazing patterns.
FledglingChough fledgling. Of all the birds associated with pastoral agriculture perhaps the Chough is the most emblematic. At present, Islay hosts about 75 % of the Scottish population (approx. 270 birds in 2002). This photo shows a fledgling.
Chough pair in cliffsChough pair in cliffs. Most birds spend their first two years as members of a sub-adult flock, foraging and roosting together. Once established as breeders their behavious changes and the pair stay close to their nest site and home range throughout the year.
Communal roost in building with sub-adult choughsCommunal roost in building. In late summer and winter the sub-adult choughs join together. They then forage in flocks and roost communally both on cliffs and in buildings.
Horses in duneHorses in dune. Preferred foraging areas are sand-dunes (see photo), machair and agricultural grasslands (leys, old pastures and meadows), as well as rough grazing areas (moorland and dwarf shrub heaths).

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European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism
Online: http://www.efncp.org/hnv-showcases/scottish-hebrides/chough/landscape/
Date: 2024/05/24
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