Red-billed Chough [Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax] Choughs are highly social and intelligent, long-lived corvids, showing strict monogamy and nesting-site fidelity (philopatry).

According to a study observing approximately 600 Choughs living in Iberian Peninsula for more than 30 years (1985-2016), Choughs regularly fly long-distances and interact with individuals of different populations.

They did round trips of several hundred kilometres within a week and crossed major geographical barriers such as high mountains. Even though they had a high dispersal ability and there was no major geographical barriers preventing gene flow between different populations, genetic analysis showed a high degree of genetic structure composed of at least 15 distinct genetic units (Morinha F. et al. Extreme genetic structure in a social bird species despite high dispersal capacity. Molecular ecology. 2017;26(10):2812-25).

The genetic divergence might have been shaped by social barriers between Chough communities, which we do not have any idea of.

I imagine myself as a Chough flying longer than 300 km with my wings but thinking "I should come back home!"

Have you ever imagined that you could fly? If you can, will you wander around endlessly or will you come back home anyway? Some may settle wherever they land, some may always want to come back home. It's just a fantastic idea that I can fly.

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