Eurasian Jackdaw

Eurasian Jackdaw

The Jackdaw of Rheims, who stole the cardinal’s ring but later gave it back and became a local saint, is the most well-known literary jackdaw and can be found in R.H.Barham’s Ingoldsby Legends.

Eurasian Jackdaw Physical Appearance

Eurasian Jackdaw Physical Appearance

The Eurasian Jackdaw is a stocky black bird (previously Corvus monedula) with a sheen that almost resembles purple on its black crown and glossy grey-black plumage.

  • The black plumage is due to birds’ structural[1] plumage colors being greatly influenced by melanin, which can absorb visible light and self-assemble into nanoscale structures.
  • The bird’s underside is a slate grey, with lighter grey cheeks, a nape, and a neck.
  • The bird’s jet-black crown highlights the eyes’ light, nearly white irises. It also has black legs and a short, robust bill.

Eurasian Jackdaw Myths And Belief

Eurasian Jackdaw Myths and Belief

As Jackdaws preferred church steeples and liked to dwell and started to nest on the chimneys during the 18thcentury, at times it caused a nuisance in heating but “A great frequenter of the church, where bishop-like, he finds a perch And dormitory too, ” the poet William Cowper wrote, is how he put it. In some areas of Wales, the bird was revered because of this behavior.

Jackdaws Possess A Gregarious Instinct As They Love Human Eye Contact

Jackdaws possess a gregarious instinct

Jackdaws and people get along because they share a certain level of empathy.

  • There are many tales of people who saved stranded children in trouble and were rewarded with bewildering friendship and trust.
  • According to research by Cambridge zoologist Auguste von Bayern, jackdaws can recognize human faces and react to facial expressions.
  • A bird with confidence in its mentor can “read” that person’s eye motions and will follow them to find hidden food.
  • These corvids communicate primarily through their eyes, as eye contact is important for human interaction. Research has been aided and supported by this interaction.

Jackdaws Undergo The Process Of Molting When Greying Occurs

Jackdaws undergo the process

Some birds do begin to turn grey as they age. Still, it’s not always very noticeable because the greying is brought on by changes to the feather structure (which alters how light is reflected), not by a lack of pigment as in humans. Due to their predominantly black feathers, jackdaws exhibit greying more visibly than most other Bird Species.

Jackdaw Can “Marry” To Elevate Their Social Status

Eurasian Jackdaw marry for social status

The founder of modern ethology, the Austrian ornithologist Konrad Lorenz, identified a rigid social hierarchy within jackdaw groups (also known as trains or clatterings) starting in the 1930s.

  • Females who are not paired are at the bottom of the food chain; they are the last to have access to food and shelter during times of scarcity and are vulnerable to being pecked at by others without being able to defend themselves.
  • But when a female is chosen as a mate, she assumes the same rank as her partner and is recognized as such by everyone else in the group. She can even peck people to make them acknowledge her status.

Jackdaws Can Imitate Human Sounds

Jackdaw imitates humans

Although a Jackdaw is not usually kept as a pet, it can be trained to perform several tricks. One of the most intriguing facts is its amazing ability to imitate other sounds and the human voice.

What Do Eurasian Jackdaw Eat?

Eurasian Jackdaw

The Eurasian Jackdaw nourishes[¶] on these organic matters:

  • European Mountain-Ash (Sorbus aucuparia)
  • Vertebrado (Vertebrata)
  • Bush Vetch (Vicia sepium)
  • Californian Thistle (Cirsium arvense)
  • Graminées (Poaceae)
  • Bedstraw (Galium aparine)
  • Corn Spurry (Spergula arvensis)
  • Knotweed (Polygonum)
  • Poppy (Papaver)
  • Bramble Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus)
  • Clover (Trifolium)
  • Common Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
  • Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
  • Hop Clover (Trifolium dubium)
  • Charlock (Sinapis arvensis)
  • Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
  • Goosefoot (Chenopodium)
  • English Oak (Quercus robur)
  • Black Bindweed (Fallopia convolvulus)
  • Madwoman’s Milk (Euphorbia helioscopia)
  • Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
  • Dock (Rumex)
  • Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)

More Black Birds

Suggested Reading: All Black Birds

Cite This Page

APA7MLA8Chicago (2024, February 22). Eurasian Jackdaw. Bio Explorer. "Eurasian Jackdaw" Bio Explorer, 22 February 2024, "Eurasian Jackdaw" Bio Explorer, February 22 2024.
Key References
  • [1]“Melanin-based structural coloration of birds and its biomimetic applications | Applied Microscopy | Full Text”. Accessed June 02, 2023. Link.
  • [¶] – Pocock, Michael J. O.; Evans, Darren M.; Memmott, Jane (2012), Data from: The robustness and restoration of a network of ecological networks, Dryad, Dataset, doi:10.5061/dryad.3s36r118


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