On my morning walk down The Beeches in Lanark to the Falls of Clyde, I often see a large flock of jackdaws noisily chattering away to one another. They will fly over from the racecourse and land in all the beech trees above my head. I then very quickly make my way through the trees, avoiding the “lucky” poo splat that I have been so far lucky enough to avoid. Anyway, I thought you guys might be interested to find out more about them!
Did you know that jackdaws will often pair for life? It is possible to pick out established pairs even in the large winter-feeding flock that you will see at this time of year. When the female is laying eggs the male is very vigilant in caring for them both and they put a tremendous amount of effort into rearing the chicks. Even if they have had a few years of unsuccessfully breeding, they will still remain together.
With their strong instinct for family and looking after one another, I am sure it won’t surprise you to hear that there have been reports of jackdaws looking after other injured members of their group, this will probably be a relative.
British jackdaws are different from their European counterparts in that they are relatively sedentary and will only travel a few kilometres from their breeding grounds, even in wintertime. European jackdaws are much more migratory in their habits and so some of the jackdaws you see in winter could be from Scandinavia.
Jackdaws will build a nest almost anywhere, from chimneys to tree cavities. They will build their nest to fit the size of the space. So in a tree they might only need a few sticks but there is record of one in an attic that was eight feet across at the base and almost three feet high.
Laura Preston – Falls of Clyde Ranger, Scottish Wildlife Trust
Help support our vital work and join us today!