Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Corvus
Species: monedula

The jackdaw or daw is a european corvid, a close relative of the crows and jays. Like them, it is a rather intelligent bird that can learn to talk and that likes to steal shiny things.

Jackdaws are 13" (33cm) long, one of the smallest corvids. They are black with gray eyes; adults have gray patches on their neck and cheeks. Their range spans across Europe, from the Middle East into England, and east to India and Siberia. They live in wooded habitats, pastures, cities, and everything in between. They are omnivorous, eating insects, seeds, and people food.

Jackdaws are one of the very few so-called "monogamous" birds that actually are monogamous. They become "engaged" at the age of about six months, begin to breed at the age of two, and actually mate for life. In the wild their lifespan is about 18 years; in captivity, more like 30.

Jackdaw pairs socialize with other jackdaws and also often with their congeners, rooks. The pairs stay with each other within the flock, and tend to nest near other pairs.

The pair, being cavity breeders, defend a nest site in a cliff, tree, or building; in Europe they sometimes clog chimneys with their dense nests made of sticks. In early spring the male and female build the nest together. After the eggs are laid, the female incubates the eggs and the male brings food for her.

Its call has been described as "tchak-tchak" or "kyack".

References and further reading:

Jack"daw` (?), n. [Prob. 2d jack + daw, n.] Zool.

See Daw, n.


© Webster 1913.

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