Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax


Taxonomic note

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Perrins, C.M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 51,300,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 13,400,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 800000-1799999 poor estimated 2012
Population trend Decreasing estimated -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11 - - -

Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 40,500-86,400 pairs, which equates to 80,900-173,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.10% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 809,000-1,730,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. The population in China has been estimated at c.100-10,000 breeding pairs (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification: The population is estimated to be in decline following noted decreases in the European population (Madge and Burn 1993). In Europe, trends between 1980 and 2013 show the population to be stable (EBCC 2015). However in the short-term (2000-2012) the European population is estimated to be decreasing (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes
Albania N Extant Yes
Algeria N Extant Yes
Andorra N Extant Yes
Armenia N Extant Yes
Austria V Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes
Belgium V Extant Yes
Bhutan N Extant Yes
Bulgaria V Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Egypt V Extant Yes
Ethiopia N Extant Yes
France N Extant Yes Yes
Georgia N Extant Yes
Germany V Extant Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) V Extant Yes
Greece N Extant Yes
Hungary V Extant Yes
India N Extant Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes
Ireland N Extant Yes
Israel N Extant Yes
Italy N Extant Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes
Lebanon N Possibly Extinct Yes
Mongolia N Extant Yes
Montenegro N Extant Yes
Morocco N Extant Yes
Nepal N Extant Yes
North Macedonia N Extant Yes
Pakistan N Extant Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Serbia N Extant Yes
Slovakia V Extant Yes
Slovenia N Extinct Yes
South Korea V Extant Yes
Spain N Extant Yes
Switzerland N Extant Yes
Syria N Extant Yes
Tajikistan N Extant Yes
Tunisia N Extinct Yes
Turkey N Extant Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes
United Kingdom N Extant Yes
Uzbekistan N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
North Macedonia Shar Planina Mountain
Azerbaijan Gobustan area
Azerbaijan Mount Ilandag
Azerbaijan Negram mountains
Azerbaijan Ordubad area
Azerbaijan Shahbuz area
Azerbaijan Mount Shahdag
Azerbaijan Zuvand upland
Andorra Pirineo de Andorra
Portugal South-west coast of Portugal
Portugal Upper River Douro and Águeda valleys
Ireland Cliffs of Moher
Ireland High Island
Ireland Inishbofin and Inishshark (including Davillaun)
Ireland Clare Island cliffs
Ireland Sheskinmore Lough
Ireland Horn Head cliffs
Ireland Old Head of Kinsale
Ireland Dingle peninsula
Ireland Iveragh peninsula
Ireland Beara peninsula
Ireland Sheeps Head and Mizen Head peninsulas
Ireland West Donegal coast
Greece Mount Idi, Crete
Greece Lefka Ori mountains, Crete
Greece Mount Asterousia (Kofinas), Crete
Greece Mount Dikti, Crete
Greece Mount Gkiona
Greece Tymfi (Gkamila) and Smolikas mountains
Greece Douskon and Kasidiaris mountains, Delvinaki lakes and Gormou valley
Greece Agrafa mountains
Greece Tilos island and surrounding islets
Greece Tsamanta, Filiata, Farmakovouni and Megali Rachi mountains
Greece Barbas and Klokos mountains and Selinountas gorge
Spain Sierra Nevada mountain range
Spain Antequera mountain range-El Chorro
Spain Ubrique and Grazalema mountain ranges
Spain Mountain ranges of Cordoba
Spain Mountain ranges south of Jaén
Spain Cazorla and Segura mountain ranges
Spain Hoya de Guadix
Spain Moratalla mountain range
Spain Marina mountain ranges
Spain Rivers Cabriel and Júcar canyons
Spain Peñagolosa
Spain Moncayo mountain range
Spain Montsech and Montgai mountains
Spain Cadí mountains
Spain Boumort mountains
Spain Sant Gervás mountains
Spain San Mauricio-Bohí-Beret
Spain Belagua-Ansó-Hecho
Spain Dos Ríos and Orba mountain ranges
Spain River Mundo and river Segura canyons
Spain Duratón canyon
Spain Segovia
Spain Río Huebra-Arribes del Duero
Spain Obarenes mountains
Spain La Losa-Orduña (Salvada mountain range)
Spain Picos de Europa mountain range
Spain Valdegovía-Arcena mountain range
Spain Burete, Cambrón and Espuña mountain ranges
Spain La Almenara mountain range-Cape Cope
Spain Torrecilla and Gigante mountain ranges
Spain Cogul-Alfés steppes
Spain Alt Pallars
Spain Cerdaña
Spain Sobrón canyon
Spain Cortados del Jarama
Spain Redbeeds and copses of Aranjuez
Spain Guadalentín saltmarshes
Spain El Valle, Altaona and Escalona mountains
Spain Pila mountain range
Spain Muela mountain range and Cape Tiñoso
Spain Gistreo and Coto mountain ranges
Spain Riaño
Spain Fuentes Carrionas
Spain Quipar reservoir, Molino mountain range and Cagitán plains
Spain Ancares mountains
Spain Peña Labra and Cordel mountain ranges
Spain La Cabrera mountain range
Spain Montes Aquilanos range
Spain Humada-Peña Amaya
Spain Upper Ebro and Rudrón canyons
Spain Oña and Tesla mountain ranges
Spain Tiermes-Caracena
Spain Altos de Barahona high moor
Spain River Lobos canyon
Spain Babia-Somiedo
Spain Ribadesella-Tina Mayor
Spain Prelittoral mountain ranges of Granada
Spain Cabras, Aljibe and Montecoche mountain range
Spain Ordesa-Bielsa
Spain Gistaín-Cotiella
Spain Posets-Maladeta
Spain San Juan de la Peña-Oroel crag
Spain Santo Domingo-Riglos-Gratal
Spain Guara mountain range
Spain Turbón-Espés-Sis
Spain Los Monegros (South)
Spain Lower course of the river Huerva
Spain Alcañiz salt lakes
Spain River Martín canyons and Arcos mountain range
Spain River Guadalope
Spain Montes Universales-Albarracín mountain range
Spain Costa da Morte
Spain Cape Candelaria-Ortigueira estuary-Cape Estaca de Bares
Spain Turia canyon and Los Serranos
Spain La Safor and North Alicante mountain ranges
Spain Morella pass
Spain Espadán mountain range
Spain Ayllón mountain range
Spain Entrepeñas and Buendía reservoirs
Spain Upper sections of the rivers Tajo and Tajuña
Spain Cuenca mountain ranges
Spain Bardenas Reales
Spain Enguera mountain range-La Canal de Navarrés
Spain La Palma laurel forest
Spain Garafía rocky islets
Spain La Caldera de Taburiente National Park
Spain El Canal y Los Tiles laurel forest
Spain El Roque coastal cliffs
France Haute Soule : Forêt des Arbailles
France Haute Soule : Forêt d'Irraty, Organbidexka et Pic des Escaliers
France Hautes Vallées d'Aspe et d'Ossau
France Gorges de la Vis et cirque de Navacelles
France Montagne Sainte-Victoire
France Vallée du Haut-Guil
France Bois du Chapitre
France Bec de Crigne
France Haute Soule : Massif Forestier, Gorges d'Holzarte et d'Olhadubi
France Rive Gauche de la Vallée d'Aspe et Pic d'Anie
France Eth Turoun des Aureys
France Pènes du Moulle de Jaut
France Haute Soule : massif de la Pierre-St-Martin.
France Pic de l'Estibet et Mondragon
France Haute Cize : Pic d'Errozate et Forêt d'Orion
France Baies de Morlaix et de Carantec
France Ile d'Ouessant
France Hautes Corbières
France Massif du Canigou-Carança
France Puig Carlit et environs
France Hautes garrigues du Montpellierais
France Massif du Madres et Mont Coronat
France Parc National des Cévennes
France Vallées du Lis et de la Pique
France Cirque de Gavarnie
France Zones rupestres du Tarasconnais et massif d'Aston
France Gorges de la Frau et Belestat
France Gorges du Tarn et de la Jonte
France Gorges de la Dourbie et causses avoisinants
France Parc National du Mercantour
France Préalpes de Grasse
France Parc National des Ecrins
France Hauts Plateaux du Vercors et Forêt des Coulmes
France Parc National de la Vanoise
France Massif du Petit Lubéron
United Kingdom Bae Caerfyrddin/Carmarthen Bay
United Kingdom Elenydd - Mallaen
United Kingdom Glannau Aberdaron and Ynys Enlli
United Kingdom Glannau Ynys Gybi/Holy Island Coast
United Kingdom Laggan Peninsula
United Kingdom Gruinart Flats
United Kingdom North Colonsay and Western Cliffs
United Kingdom Pembrokeshire Cliffs
United Kingdom Rinns of Islay
United Kingdom Skokholm and Skomer
United Kingdom The Oa
United Kingdom Antrim Hills
United Kingdom Cardigan Island
United Kingdom Calf of Man
United Kingdom Isle of Man Sea Cliffs
United Kingdom Isle of Man Hills
Italy Rocca Busambra
Italy Madonie
Italy Mount Cervati
Italy Matese
Italy Sirente, Velino and Duchessa mountains
Italy Rieti mountains
Italy Laga mountains
Italy Sibillini mountains
Italy Susa and Chisone valleys
Italy Gran Paradiso
Italy Cicolano
Italy Maiella, Pizzi and Frentani mountains
Italy Alburni mountains
Italy Alpi Apuane
Italy Ligurian Alps
Italy Maritime Alps
Italy Furlo gorge and Mount Catria
Italy Mount Pecoraro and Pizzo Cirina
Italy Agri Valley
Italy Pollino
Italy Antigorio and Formazza valleys
Greece Mount Taygetos
Georgia Eastern Caucasus
Georgia Meskheti
Serbia Prokletije
Serbia Sara mountain
Armenia Khosrov Reserve
Italy Gran Sasso and Laga mountains
Azerbaijan Sangachal Bay
Portugal Gerês mountains
Portugal Montesinho and Nogueira mountains
Portugal Serras do Alvão e Marão
France Cap Sizun
France Basses Corbières
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lashgarak and Latian dam
United Kingdom South Ceredigion Coast (Llangranog)
United Kingdom Trefor
United Kingdom North Ceredigion Coast (Borth - Aberystwyth)
United Kingdom Mid Ceredigion Coast (Aberystwyth - Llanrhystud)
United Kingdom Mynydd Cilan, Trwyn y Wylfa ac Ynysoedd Sant Tudwal
United Kingdom Craig yr Aderyn (Birds Rock)
Russia (European) Gunibskoye plateau
Italy Val d'Ossola
Italy Mont Blanc (Italian side)
Italy Monte Rosa (versante valdostano) ed Alta Val Sesia
United Kingdom Oronsay and South Colonsay
Italy Furlo
Italy Ernici and Simbruini mountains
Italy Abruzzo National Park
Italy Picentini mountains
Ireland Malin Head
Ireland Fanad Head peninsula
Ireland Tory Island
Ireland Broadhaven, Blacksod and Tullaghan Bays and parts of the Mullet peninsula
Ireland Inishkea Islands
Ireland Duvillaun Islands
Ireland Seven Heads
Ireland Inishbofin, Inisdooey and Inisbeg
Ireland Aran Islands (parts)
Ireland Illaunonearaun
Ireland Loop Head
Ireland Tralee Bay and Barrow Harbour
Ireland Blasket Islands
Ireland The Skelligs: Great Skellig and Little Skellig
Ireland Helvick Head
Ireland Saltee Islands
Ireland Mid Waterford Coast
Ireland Galley Head to Duneen Point
Ireland Sligo and Leitrim uplands
Ireland Kerry Head
United Kingdom Colonsay and Oronsay
Kyrgyzstan Gorge Tash-Rabat
Kyrgyzstan Eastern Alai
Spain Aguas y acantilados del Norte de La Palma
Armenia Gndasar
Armenia Haghartsin
Kazakhstan Sorbulak Lake System
Greece Tzena and Pinovo mountains
Greece Mount Vardousia
Greece Mount Kedros and Kourtaliotiko gorge, Crete
Greece Thrypti and Orno mountains, Crete
Italy Sicani mountains, Rocca Busambra and Ficuzza forest
Kazakhstan Kapchagay Canyon

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable resident
Grassland Temperate suitable resident
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable resident
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable resident
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable resident
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) major resident
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable resident
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits (max) 7950 m

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax. Downloaded from on 26/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/03/2023.