The jackdaw is a small bird with black plumage, having a metallic sheen. Only her head and chest are ashen. In its appearance it is very similar to a crow, but its dimensions are noticeably smaller: the body is about 30 centimeters in length, and the weight is rarely more than 250 grams. In adult birds, the eyes are bright, sometimes blue, young individuals are dark-eyed. Bill and legs are black.
The jackdaw is a sociable bird; from early spring to late autumn they fly along with rooks. Together following the tractors during spring plowing, the birds look for earthworms, insects and their larvae in the land. In the summertime, uniting with the rooks and starlings, the jackdaws fly to the mowed meadows and the fields in search of food.
In the autumn, after the departure of the rooks, they join the gray crows, together spend the night in the trees in the courtyards and in the city parks. In the morning, fly out of town to landfills or fields, where they feed. In the winter, garbage dumps play an important role in their nutrition, and sometimes help to survive.
How to distinguish by trail
The jackdaw bird leaves a footprint that looks like a crow, but noticeably smaller. By size paw prints can rather be confused with weeds. But forty mainly jumps, and the jackdaw springily paces, at the same time putting emphasis on fingers. Therefore, the average plantar callus is not always well printed on the tracks.
The toes on her paws are somewhat plump, with shorter claws. This affects the length of the print, which is shorter than that of a magpie. The step length is about 15 centimeters, and the width of the track is almost 5 centimeters.
A jackdaw is a bird that does not destroy other people's nests, unlike its girlfriends crows. Destroying a large number of insect pests, these representatives of the avian world bring significant benefits to people. In some cases, in search of food, they can cause significant damage to gardens and melons. But this is not from harm, just want to eat.
The main places of distribution are cities and large villages. Rarely live on the rocky areas of the coast, in the forests are also found infrequently. Jackdaw is a bird nesting near a person’s dwelling: under the eaves of houses, in attics, in chimneys, in the emptiness of buildings. Sometimes she makes a nest in the hollow of an old tree.
They live in separate pairs or small flocks. Often create joint colonies with rooks. They start building nests later than their neighbors, in the first decade of April. The dwelling is erected by a pair, dragging first dry twigs, and then rags and paper to cover the tray.
Jackdaw - a bird laying eggs in the first half of May. In their nest can be from 3 to 7 pieces. Eggs may have a bluish-green or light blue color, with greenish-brown specks. Hatching lasts 18 days. Appeared chicks are in the nest for another month.
Galka - migratory bird?
They live in Europe, Asia, in the north of Africa. Birds nesting in the northern regions of Eurasia, migratory, in October they fly to the south, winter in China, and return back in February. In Europe, in the Caucasus, in Central Asia, the jackdaw lives sedentary. But in winter, sometimes even in these places, birds move within the nesting area.
General characteristics and description
Jackdaw (corvus monedula) is a medium sized bird. The length of its calf is about 39 cm with the tail. Weight does not exceed 170-280 grams. Males are slightly larger in size than females. This is the only external difference between the sexes.
The bird has a dense constitution, not a large, but strong beak. The plumage on the back is painted in silver-gray color, and the wings and tail - in gray. The rest of the body is covered with black feathers.
Birds have an unusual eye color. In nature there are jackdaws with a sky-blue and even green iris.
The lifetime of birds in the wild is up to 10 years, in human hands it will live to 17 years. This is due to different living conditions and diet.
These birds are found in the Old World, in Western Asia. Also, some populations live in the North African continent. In the northern and eastern regions, jackdaws lead a migratory lifestyle. Old individuals, for which the flights become overwhelming, in warm winters remain on their homes.
The dyed instinct is well developed in daws, so they move in large colonies.
As a dwelling for them are suitable:
- tree hollows
- lofts of buildings
- rock crevices
- roofs of houses,
- animal burrows
- thrown nests of other birds.
Jackdaws are tied to a person because more food sources are found next to him. At the same time, they prefer old buildings and non-residential premises, considering them to be optimal for home improvement.
Reproduction and offspring
Galki still young choose their partner, with which they remain until the end of life. Inside the pair there is a manifestation of such emotions as tenderness and care. They are expressed in combing the feathers of the partner and the exchange of food obtained.
In March, the daws begin the marriage period. Nests are made of twigs, twigs, leaves and knots. The soft layer consists of cobwebs, feathers and animal fur.
In May, the female lays eggs, which number is from 4 to 7. Their color varies from light green to blue. The incubation period lasts about 20 days. The body of the hatched chicks is completely naked, and the first days of life are closed. Chicks are greedy and require feeding every two hours. The couple feeds the offspring for the next 14 days, after which the chicks are ready for independent living.
Birds in the wild eat all kinds of insects, extracting them from under the bark of trees. For this they are called forest nurses and are considered very useful birds, along with woodpecker. Jackdaws fight not only against insects, but also reduce the population of harmful rodents.
On the other hand, birds cause significant damage to agriculture. In the harvest season, they are not averse to feasting on the seeds of cereals in the fields. Cultivated trees in gardens and other berries are hit.
Jackdaws - skillful and agile predator. In the process of hunting, she suddenly attacks her victims: small rodents, beetles, butterflies. Birds that live near water bodies or at the seashore feed on fish, mollusks and crustaceans, which they carried to the shore in waves.
Domestication and taming
In human life, daws are present from time immemorial. Attempts at the domestication of these birds continue to this day. This requires patience and is not always crowned with success, since these are wild birds.
A pet needs a large space where he could fly freely. For this fit a spacious and sturdy aviary.
As for the food in captivity, the jackdaw gnawing will have to be fed every two hours, crushed food and through force. The fact is that the chicks still do not swallow food on their own. Adults at home require food identical to the one they are used to in the wild. This is another difficulty in keeping non-domesticated birds.
Birds have a surprisingly sonorous and peculiar voice. Gathering in flocks, jackdaws loudly and continuously "gulps", talking among themselves.
Birds are by nature very active, cheerful, but at the same time quite suspicious and very careful. Therefore, it is very difficult to tame an adult to human hands.
The jackdaws have a phenomenal memory. They will surely remember the person who destroyed their nest, even if they were chicks. If he comes close, the bird will raise a terrible hubbub and will behave extremely aggressively towards the abuser.
Jackdaws have a piercing gaze, which is not peculiar to other representatives of the animal world. What this bird does not look away, and looks directly into your eyes. This makes the feathery very photogenic, and its expression meaningful.
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Bird daw: description
Birds of this species, as already mentioned, are not too large. The jackdaw is a bird that has a body length of 30-35 cm and weighs 200-280 g. The wings are slightly shortened, with a span of 65-75 cm, the tail is narrow.
The plumage is dense. The wings, tail and back are black in color with a blue tint. The chest and head are gray with a beautiful silvery shade. Feet little black, dark beak, blue eyes, very expressive and beautiful.
Jackdaw - wintering bird or migratory? This question cannot be answered unequivocally, since the way of life of these birds is nomadic, sedentary and migratory. Let's talk about this in more detail. Jackdaws live in Central and Western Europe, are also found in North Africa and Asia. The northern inhabitants are migratory; all other members of this species are considered sedentary or wandering. Migrants go to winter south in October and return home in February.
Jackdaws are very nimble, flashy, sociable and intelligent. Their best friends among the bird kingdom are the rooks, it is in their company that the birds love to walk around the fields and gardens, noisily shouting over each other with the characteristic sounds of “ka-ka”. They live in pairs, gathering in flocks, numbering up to several dozen birds.
Nowadays, jackdaws prefer to live next to human housing and build nests on old and abandoned buildings. It is much easier for birds to get their own food near people, and there is more communication in settlements than in forest areas, and these birds love to talk. If a flock of daws lives in the forest, their nests are on tall old trees with hollows. Also black screamers can be found in groves, on rocky coasts and in plantings, next to agricultural fields.
Jackdaw is a bird that does not belong to staunch vegetarians and loves to eat spiders or other insects, earthworms, mollusks. When terrain conditions permit, black birds can hunt small rodents, such as voles and mice.
In addition to food of animal origin, grains and seeds, fruits and berries are included in the diet of daws. Trash cans and dumps are real canteens for birds with an abundance of varied food. In these places you can always find something delicious.
Feathered shouters are very forward-looking and thrifty. When they manage to obtain food in large quantities, they make stocks under the roots of trees, under leaves or in other secluded places. In bad weather bad weather, when hunger can threaten, such storehouses help them very much.
This bird lives throughout Europe, ranging from the Atlantic Ocean and mountains located in the northwestern part of the African continent. Further, the range extends to the Yenisei and Altai. On the territory of Europe live everywhere. You can not meet them only in Finland and in the Scandinavian Peninsula. Favorite habitats in nature are the rocky coasts of the seas and the high banks of rivers, mountains. They do not settle only in the marshland or too open territories. The rest of the landscape types are quite suitable for this bird.
Most of the representatives of this species can be found in small cities and towns, near which there is an open area.
It is known that already in the 12th century, these birds settled in cities. Today, these birds inhabit more populated areas than in the wild. They choose old buildings, towers and other buildings to settle in them. In order for the jackdaw to build a nest, any open space will do. In the city, they easily find food.
Populations in the north and east of the range are migratory. The rest can wander in search of food.
- Alpine. The length of the body is 36-38 cm, the wingspan is 74-84 cm, they weigh 190-250 g. Their plumage is black and shiny, and their legs are painted red. Bill is yellow, shortish. The wings of the alpine jackdaw are narrow. Males of this species are somewhat larger than females. Juveniles are also black, but their plumage does not shine. Their bill is yellowish in color, and their legs are brown. Alpine daws live in Morocco, as well as from the Iberian Peninsula to China itself. They prefer to settle in the mountains.
- Daurskaya. The length of the body of these birds is 31-33 cm. According to external characteristics it is very similar to the European one, but these two species differ in coloring features. Those parts that are colored gray in European representatives and white in Dahurian ones. They live in eastern Asia (this is east of Russia, as well as Korea and China). He lives in the hills in the mountains. As well as river valleys. You can also meet the Dahurian daw in the open forest.