The Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) is one of the smallest species in the genus of crows and ravens. They measure 34-39 cm in length and most of the plumage is black or greyish black except for the cheeks, nape and neck which are light grey to greyish silver. The iris is greyish white or silvery white, the only member of the genus outside of the Australasian region to have this feature. This bird is sociable and moves around in pairs (male and female) or sometimes in larger groups, though the pairs of birds stay together within the flocks.
The Jackdaw’s habitat is located over a very large area stretching from North West Africa through virtually all of Europe, Iran, North West India and Siberia. It inhabits wooded steppes, woodland, cultivated land, pasture, coastal cliffs and villages and towns.
This species takes its food mostly from the ground, however does take some food from trees. Its diet consists of insects and other invertebrates, weed seeds and grain, scraps of human food in towns, stranded fish on the shore, and will more readily take food from bird feeders than other corvus species.
The Jackdaw prefers to nest in colonies in the cavities of trees, cliffs or ruined buildings and sometimes even in dense conifers. Eggs, normally 4-5, are incubated over a period of 17-18 days and juveniles are fledged after 30-35 days.
The call of the Jackdaw is a “tchak-tchak” or “kak-kak”.
A detailed description of the Jackdaw’s social behavior has been described in Konrad Lorenz’s book “King Solomon’s Ring”.
Another species closely related to European Jackdaw is Daurian Jackdaw (Corvus dauricus). European and Daurian Jackdaw together form the subgenus Coloeus.