To: 'David Rees' <>
Subject: Chuffs
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 07:59:02 +0000

Hi David,


Thanks for your extra information. What I know of Choughs is from books of British birds and you are right, those books don’t name it as 'English chough' so my writing that, is wrong nomenclature, (but even so, you knew what I meant!). To explain, I have no doubt that the naming of our bird as Chough has an English historical basis (as with so many others, not from Spain or anywhere else in Europe or Asia ) and really that is what I had in my head leading to that comment “English Chough” (as in English word for that bird).


On checking books now I see they occur more in southern Europe and a lot of central Asia. I also have seen some film of them on TV. From which I clearly see that they are quite different in behaviour from our bird (much better flyers and without the particular comical antics of our bird). As I have only ever been out of Australia for 9 weeks and only to Asia (China, Philippines & Singapore), I don’t have that broader knowledge. Indeed I was really only making 2 points - about the wrong spelling “Chuffs” and that giving our bird the same name really isn’t right, so it should be given its own name.




From: David Rees [
Sent: Sunday, 31 January 2016 5:35 PM
To: Philip Veerman
Cc: Geoff; COG List
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Chuffs




You would be hard pushed to find the 'English chough' in England. Should be called Red-billed Chough.  There are now a few in Cornwall again after a reintroduction program.  Best go to coastal Ireland, Wales, Isle of Man or SW Scotland, plus coastal Brittany in France. Elsewhere in Europe it is a bird of Mediterranean mountains. The British/Irish populations are serious outliers.  >From the Mediterranean it is found in mountains through to central Asia and NE China.  It is a lovely bird, suppose it sort of looks like the white winged chough in that it is black, similar size and has a fine pointy beak (albeit red!), however  Red-billed Choughs are 'smart' crows and are stunning fliers.  Had the pleasure of filming some on a very windy Autumn day at the end of the Gower peninsula near Swansea in south Wales see , a stunning location unchanged in the 50 years I have known it.  There is also the Alpine Chough - bit smaller and has a yellow bill.  Europe's answer to the Kea in high altitude ski resorts.




On Sat, Jan 30, 2016 at 10:18 PM, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

Well as you can tell from your evidence, no it is not late. They actually have a long breeding season. The COG Atlas shows NY from start of September till late February. As for you name “Chuffs’ is not right although maybe it should be. They are named after the English Chough that they supposedly look like but they don’t (well maybe dead they do), which is a species of crow. Deserve their own name, just like Magpie.




From: Geoff [
Sent: Saturday, 30 January 2016 9:46 PM
To: 'COG List'
Subject: [canberrabirds] Chuffs


Isn’t this a bit late for a nest?


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