Both in the air and on the ground there is an irrepressible jauntiness about jackdaw movements. Yet perhaps the most useful distinguishing feature of this intensely sociable bird is its voice. The full range of calls is complex, although the best known is a monosyllabic, almost dog-like yap, of which the first part of the name is descriptive.
Jackdaws make another loud, resonant alarm note, an almost rook-like grating caw, and it is supposed that the bird’s old name of “˜daw’ is onomatopoeic of this sound. Another middle English word for the bird, Ca or Co is the origin for places such as Kaber in Cumbria, Caville in east Yorkshire and Lancashire’s Cawood.
Despite their wider reputation for guile and itelligence, jackdaws are well known for making heavy weather of the nest itself. They drop sticks into the cavity to make the foundations of the nest.
Sometimes it happens that a nice looking hole communicates with some bigger space below, and the sticks simply drop through. But once the birds have chosen a hole they may continue bringing and dropping in sticks for day and days until a really enormous pile accumulates.’In Hampstead, the workmen removed two or three cartloads of sticks from the towers, where a colony had nested, some people have been known to “˜harvest’ their jackdaw nests as kindling.
Enjoy our featured photographers this week in our nesting Jackdaws series:
By Law Keven