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Jackdaw Coloeus monedula

A small black member of the Jay family. Every now and then the bird appears in my back garden, though it normally remains in the bushy part of it. These are very intelligent birds. In winter they flock together and are often joined by Rooks. In summer they normally keep apart, although they also look for food in the open fields in flocks. Sometimes they sleep together in huge flocks, especially in cities. The bird is more popular than the Crow is, because the noise it makes is less irritating and certainly less frequent.

In my neighborhood farmers used to take away one Jackdaw chick from a nest. They would then raise the chick by hand and they had a tame bird! It would even walk inside the house and it would follow the farmer where ever he went. A tame bird would have a wild one as a partner, so the farmer had to take out another chick after a few years. They are awful thieves of glittering stuff, just like the Magpie. When taming a Jackdaw one should take care of one's eyes: they glitter as well and a Jackdaw could try to take one to the nest. Oh, well, who cares, people do have two eyes anyway!

This bird belongs to the family of Crows (Corvidae). It is very rare in our garden and can be seen in Holland all year round. The bird is 13" and weighs 240 grams. It lives in parks, ruines and bushy areas mostly, but it is also conquering city centers. It eats almost everything. The sexes do not differ from one another. Jackdaws often live in small colonies. These colonies have a strict social order, a clear leader and conflicts like all societies have. Ornithologists have examined the Jackdaw's language and found out at least 8 "words"... The species breeds in may and june. It is a holebreeder that deposits four to six eggs. The breeding time is some 18 days, but the parents have to look after their young for an exceptional long time: 30 to 35 days!

Recently the scientific name of the Jackdaw has been changed from Corvus monedula into Coloeus monedula. You may still encounter the former scientific name regularly.

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