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Order Song birds/Passeriformes, Family Crows/Corvidae

Eurasian Jackdaw/Corvus monedula - Adult

L 30-34 cm, WS 64-73 cm. Breeds both in immediate vicinity of man, i.e. in cavities in houses and other buildings, and in mature parks and deciduous woods with hollow trees; also locally in mountains and on seacliffs. Short-range migrant in N, otherwise resident. Pairs for life, and pairmembers almost always seen together, often perch close together, look ‘amorous’. Also very social, forages in flocks and, especially in autumn, gathers at dusk in large throngs to roost in favoured copses or town parks. Can become quite tame where not persecuted. Omnivore. Nests in chimney, air shaft, tree-hole, duck nestbox, cave, rock crevice etc.
IDENTIFICATION: At distance all dark, and often included in the term ‘crow’ by the layman. At closer range, however, dark grey, not black, and has lighter grey neck-side and nape. Eye, moreover, is greyish-white, and bill is much more slender than on Hooded/Carrion Crow and Rook. On ground, struts around quickly with upright posture. In flight, told from Hooded/Carrion Crow by faster and slightly deeper beats of the proportionately somewhat longer and narrower wings, also by broad but short neck, and by short bill that gives bird a somewhat ‘docked’ appearance at front. As a rule also flies in denser flocks than crows (almost as pigeons), but flock formation can be similar. Sexes and ages alike. - Variation: Birds from NE Europe (ssp. soem-merringii) have paler neck-side, especially in fresh autumn plumage, producing greyish-white patch on lower neck; intergrades into nominate race in Fenno-Scandia, so racial determination risky. Jackdaws in S and W Europe (spermologus) are darker.
VOICE: Voluble. Conversational- and advertising-calls rather short and cutting and quite pleasing, some also hoarse and harsh. Often utters jolting ‘kya’, readily repeated in energetic series, harder ‘kyack!’, drawn-out ‘kyaar’ and slightly harsher ‘tschreh’, but details and volume vary with mood; often the birds chatter quietly together, when perched on a chimney and billing and cooing. Alarm-call is a furious, hoarse, drawn-out ‘chaiihr’. A cackling noise is heard from large roosting flocks, before they settle for the night.

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