Rare birds raise new family under gaze of wellwishers in Cornwall

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The Independent Online

Most couples come under pressure to breed, whether from parents or the biological clock.

Most couples come under pressure to breed, whether from parents or the biological clock.

But few could compare their strain with that of two rare choughs perched on a cliff in Cornwall. The chough is the county's emblem and the birds were the first in 50 years to breed in Cornwall,with three chicks last summer.

Yesterday the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said the parents had hatched more chicks at a remote spot on the Lizard peninsula.

Peter Exley said the society hoped they would start a new colony. "We are pretty sure there are three or possibly four more chicks hatched this year. For them to nest twice in two years is a huge success," he said.

The birds have been under 24-hour watch to stop egg hunters raiding the nest. The return of the chough, a member of the crow family with red legs and a long red bill, is seen as highly important in local mythology because it is said to signify the resurgence of Cornish independence.

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