Explaining the Name: Palores The Cornish Bird Food Company

Explaining the Name: Palores The Cornish Bird Food Company

When we were coming up with the idea for our bird food subscription service we came to the point when we needed to name our new Cornish company. And when we came up with the name Palores, we knew that we had come across the one we wanted.

This beautiful New Storytellers feature on Radio4 sealed the deal! >

But what does Palores mean? And why did we choose it? All will become clear in today’s post!

Palores, The County Bird of Cornwall

The coat of arms that represents Cornwall depicts a number of things that epitomise Cornwall and the Cornish folk. Flanking a shield of waves is a tin miner and a fisherman, representing the industries that fuelled the South-West for centuries and on top of the shield, standing proud, is a red-billed chough.

Cornish Crest

Palores (pronounced Pa-lor-ess) is the cornish name for the red-billed chough, meaning ‘digger’, which is most likely a reference to its behaviour when finding its favourite food, invertebrates, in loose soil. The red-bill chough has also been known variously as the crow of Cornwall and the cornish chough and was a common sight across Cornwall up until the mid 20th century. Sadly the red-billed chough started to be become more scarce on our cornish shores in the late 18th century, as its habitats started to decline, with the last pair of nesting choughs leaving in 1947. Thankfully this story has a happy ending though, as the chough returned to Cornwall in 2001 and thanks to conservation, land management and the protection of nesting spots, there were 23 breeding pairs raising over 60 choughlets (is there a cuter chick name?!) in 2021. This is all thanks to a partnership between the RSPB, National Trust and The Cornwall Bird Watching and Preservation Society alongside some of the best Cornish volunteers and avian loving landowners, and here at Palores, we can’t thank them enough. 

Find Out More About The 2021 Fledge Here>

Palores in Folklore

Red-billed choughs have also been a common fixture in cornish folklore too, it is said that when King Arthur died his spirit left his body in the form of a chough, its distinctive red bill and legs are said to represent his bloody end. It was also said that if the choughs ever left Cornwall, their return would mark the return of the legendary King. So if you know anyone born in 2001 who has a penchant for pulling swords out of stones, you may well be in the presence of the reincarnation of King Arthur himself!  

Tintagel Castle, North Cornwall

With all this in mind, when we were looking for a name for our cornish bird food company, Palores seemed like the perfect representation of what Palores is, Cornish and bird-loving. 

Identifying Palores: The Cornish Chough

If you live in the South West or are here visiting, you might be one of the lucky people who get to witness a red-billed chough in the flesh. You may also spot red-billed choughs on your holidays as there are populations in North Africa, India, China southern Europe and Northern France. 

The great thing about this brilliant bird is that it is very easy to identify. The red-billed chough is unique and is hard to confuse with other birds, with its velvet black feathers, dark green-glossed body and bright red, long curved bill and legs. The red-billed chough tends to be around 40cm in length with around an 80cm wingspan and weighs in at around 300 grams. Young birds are identifiable by their orange bill and pink legs which don’t turn red until their first full Autumn. The red-bill choughs’ call is also a good way to distinguish this bird, its chee-ow call is loud and clear unlike the similar, but the distinctively different, call of the jackdaw. You’ll most often see choughs feeding in fields and gardens, digging to find insects and invertebrates.

Palores The Cornish Chough

We’d love to hear from you if you've managed to spot one of these majestic birds or even get some pictures, drop us a line at: hello@paloresbirdfood.co.uk.

The Cornish Bird Food Company

The rest of our name is fairly self-explanatory, our company was formed in, and is based in, North Cornwall. Half of our founding team are cornish born and bred and I (the other half!) am slowly becoming accepted to the area after living here permanently, with granny, for the last three years. We love everything about Cornwall and we are so proud to be running a business with Cornish love at its heart. We are also committed to doing everything we can to help birds in our fabulous county and further afield and think that our bird food subscriptions are the perfect way to help you to help our avian amigos.

So the next time you're asked about native chough populations in Britain or the Cornwall coat of arms (a common occurrence I'm sure!), you’ll be able to tell them all about the perfect Palores and its magical and long-standing Cornish connection.