White Winged Choughs

White winged choughs are birds I do not see every day
They live in dry woodlands and near forests they like to stay
Black birds of long curved bills of human kind shy
At the appearance of a person they are quick to fly
When flying the white under their wings is not hard to see
They build a cup shaped mud nest on fork of branch of tree
Where the female lays spotted eggs of five, four or three
And she is helped to raise the young by her last year's family
Their family bonds are quite strong with each other they live in harmony
Quite beautiful to look at with ruby red eyes though as birds they are not widely known
They never associate with other birds and have ways of their own
In a family group they search for insects on the ground
Chattering softly as they slowly walk around
They live in the woods more than a two hours drive by car for me
Birds I know of but do not often see.

by Francis Duggan

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