Jackdaw Jack With An Eye For The Bright


The telegraph pole over our garden wall provides a handy look-out for jackdaw-kind. These, the smallest of Britain’s crow family, are renowned, like magpies, for their thieving ways and proclivities for bling. But they are companionable birds. They mate for life, and form large flocks. They also gather with rooks and starlings, joining in their aerial sundowner displays.

The common name derives from their call: tchak-tchak, but they have many other apt descriptors including ‘chimney-sweep bird’. Anyone who has ever had to remove a jackdaws’ nest in their chimney will never forget the astounding deluge of soot and sticks and bird detritus. So if you have an unguarded chimney be warned. They do like the pots to nest in; also holes in trees and nooks in castle ruins.

I’m wondering what this one is thinking about. It looks like a bird with a plan.


Bird Weekly #42  Lisa at Our Eyes Open wants to see what we’ve seen bird-wise in the past fortnight

Bright Square #13

32 thoughts on “Jackdaw Jack With An Eye For The Bright

  1. That could have been take from our window. They’re busy and noisy, building their nests opposite us and every morning, one sits on top of the telegraph pole. They chase away the Red Kites too.

  2. Tish, I love the sheen on this bird. It makes him look like he has fur instead of feathers. He also reminds me a an old Brylcreem commercial with his smoothed back feathers. I came across a crow in Prescott on my walk yesterday – a walk without a camera even a phone, and the crow actually posed for me. I was within about four feet of it before it flew off. I’ve never had that happen with any bird. Your pictures are clear and bright. Lovely!

  3. I rather like Jackdaws and the sound they make. There is a beach up on the north coast called Polly Joke which actually comes from the Cornish “Pol-Lejouack” meaning Jackdaw cove.

      1. Cornish is a Brythonic language like Welsh and sometimes I think words are very similar, but I wasn’t very good at Welsh names other than signs when driving; I don’t even bother with Cornish!

  4. While in Austria on an exchange visit as a young teenager, one day we had travelled into the mountains and somewhere along the way stopped at a Gasthaus for refreshments. The owner seemed to know the family I was with, and she had a tame jackdaw which would perch on you. In fact I have a photo somewhere of the jackdaw perched on my hand and a grin from ear to ear!

  5. These photos are so great! I’m so happy that you got them and shared them with us! We have Chimney Swifts here in the summer and they do like to nest in the chimneys. We had our’s cleaned about 8 years ago after years of birds nesting in there. The guy who did the job didn’t have a filter on his shop vac and we got bird mites in our house. It took 6 months to get rid of them. We had to add double sided tape to everything. Chairs, beds, clothes hanging rods! Washed everything in hot water and dried everything on hot. The bites hurt and took a long time to get rid of and heal. When you mentioned this, I know all too well how badly that can go. We had a screen put on and no more bird nests in our chimney, however they nest in all our neighbors chimneys. 🙂

    1. Goodness, Lisa. That sounds perfectly awful. I have not heard of down-the-chimney bird mite infestations. I’m guessing that most homes in the UK either don’t have chimneys or they are no longer used and are blocked off at the house end.

      1. Birds have bird mites, but when this guy stirred them up and the dust blew into our house, that was it! We didn’t have them before that. Should have left the birds in there. 🙂 I’d never wish that on anyone. We didn’t know what was biting us for a while and then it was kinda too late. We thought they were flea bites, but our dog didn’t have any fleas. LOL! 🙂

      2. I am squirming as I read this, Lisa. It’s too easy to be blissfully unaware of the consequences of what seem quite straight forward actions.

      3. Sorry to do that to you! It’s been a long time ago and I don’t even think about it. It didn’t change how I feel about birds at all. 🙂

      4. Thank you Tish! It wasn’t the bird’s fault. LOL! 🙂 The Chimney Swifts showed up a couple of days ago and I’m glad our chimney is blocked.

  6. He looks stunning against the blue. I recall reading that in some parts, jackdaws symbolise good luck if seen on the way to a wedding. Not personally superstitious, but enjoy these old folk beliefs.

    1. Talking of birds, I think you watched last year, but the Dyfy ospreys are back live with super-duper camera-angles. Two beautiful speckled eggs in the nest. (Dyfy Osprey Project).

      1. I checked in the other day and the info below the video said both eggs had been lost… ** goes and looks today”” … well that is good news! 🙂

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