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Eurasian Jackdaw - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Corvus monedula)
C. m. monedula
Photo © Macswede
Stockholm, Sweden; May 2007

Alternative names: Jackdaw, Western Jackdaw

Corvus monedula

Coloeus monedula


C. m. spermologus
Photo © by the late Mahsleb
Mistley, Essex, UK; March 2014

34–39 cm (13½-15¼ in)

  • Black plumage
  • Blue-black metallic sheen on back and shoulders
  • Grey nape and ear patches; paler grey in eastern subspecies
  • Pale blue-green iris
  • Short, pointed bill

Sexes similar. Juveniles have a dark iris at first, and a softer, tinged-brownish plumage without gloss.

Similar species

Immature Daurian Jackdaws look similar to this species, but more solidly black on the head.


C. m. soemmerringii Pair
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Sonamarg, Alt. 9212 ft.(2808 m), Kashmir, India, June-2011

Found in most of Europe, patchily in northern Africa, the Middle East and western and central Asia.
Accidental vagrant to northeastern United States and Canada.
Abundant in most of its range; populations decreased in most western European countries in the past but have now mostly recovered.



C. m. spermologus
Photo © by the late Mahsleb
Mistley, Essex, May 2009

This is a polytypic species, consisting of four subspecies[1]:

  • C. m. monedula:
  • C. m. spermologus:
  • C. m. soemmerringii:
  • C. m. cirtensis:
  • Northeastern Algeria; formerly also northwestern Tunisia, that population now extinct


Breeds in large holes in trees, or on cliffs, quarries, and buildings, also parks with open woodlands. Winters in open farmland.


Jackdaw Nest
Photo © by nipper1976
A bell tower, Yorkshire, 17 April, 2023

They can form large winter roosts, often along with Rooks.


The diet includes insects, amphibians, rodents, seeds, fruits, berries, reptiles, eggs and young birds.


Breeding season starts in late April. Pairs stay together for several years. Usually several pairs are nesting in close proximity on rooftop chimneys, in caves and quarries. The nests are untidy stick structures. Jackdaws are the only corvids which nest in tree cavities, although they will also use crevices in cliffs and buildings. They will use long nest boxes. Lays 3-8 (average 4) eggs.


Call: a ringing kyow, also chiak.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
  3. BF Member observations
  4. Madge, S. & Burn, H. (1994) Crows and Jays: A Guide to the Crows, Jays and Magpies of the World. Houghton Mifflin, Boston.
  5. Whatbird

Recommended Citation

External Links

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