Nature Table: The Jackdaw

Jackdaws are small crows and are sociable, noisy and intelligent. 

They like to nest in colonies, if sufficient suitable nest sites are available. Such sites are often in derelict buildings, though they will also use hollow trees and crevices in cliffs or quarry faces. They become very attached to a good site, even to the extent of removing jackdaw guards when they are placed over chimneys.

Adult birds are dark grey with a pale grey patch on the back of the head and neck. The eyes are pale — bright blue in some individuals and silver in others. There is an eastern European race called the Baltic jackdaw which has a white ring below the grey neck patch. They sometimes visit Ireland in winter. Although jackdaws are quite common in the open countryside and along rocky coasts they have also adapted well to urban conditions which are good sources of food and nest sites. Because of this, the Irish population is expanding and now amounts to over 100,000 breeding pairs.


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