Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

The Jackdaw is one of the most common members of the crow family in the UK and is a successful species which can be found throughout Europe and central Asia. It can be distinguished from other crows by its smaller size (13inches / 33cm long), the grey back to its head and faster wing movements. The Jackdaw is a robber extraordinaire, not only taking like most crows, eggs and chicks but also useless objects which can’t be eaten and stashes them away. They have also been seen landing on the backs of sheep to steal wool to make nests  or even squat in rooks nests making themselves a place in the base of the rooks nest. They feed among other birds like rooks and starlings in fields but sometimes feed alone and can be seen perching on cliffs or old buildings such as large churches. Like most corvids they will eat anything that comes their way and this maybe the reason that their numbers have increased so much in the last century. 3-6 light blue eggs with black spots are laid in April – May with incubation 18 days later.  The courtship display of the male is impressive with him bowing with wings and tail outspread, raising his crown feathers and pressing his beak against his breast. In some areas of England these birds are just called ‘Daws’ gaining the ‘Jack’ from the sound of their call.