October 4th   Leave a comment

Jackdaw

Every morning as I walk along Marketgate to pick up my lift to work I have been appreciating the jackdaws again. It’s easy to overlook them. They are always around the rooftops of Crail and at a casual glance they are just crows. But there is something very alert and clever about them. They seem to have got a lot of things sussed: always foraging in pairs and looking out for each other, and always having a lot of free time to socialise and to play. One of the reasons for their success must be their generalism. They have been recorded eating just about anything, whether animal or vegetable, fresh or scavenged, and they are quick to investigate any of the many opportunities we create. Their Achille’s heel might have been that they are hole nesters, but with the adoption of disused or derelict buildings and chimneys in towns this weakness has become a strength. There is a pair that nest and roost in the chimney above my AGA stove. It must be one of the best sites in Crail – constantly warm and with no smoke to contend with. I often hear the jackdaws chacking contentedly to themselves, the sound echoing down the chimney so it sounds like they might be in the kitchen with me. The current longevity record for a ringed jackdaw is 18 years old – long may my pair stay in my chimney. Though I suspect such a prime site won’t be unoccupied for long when they do pass on.

Posted October 4, 2017 by wildcrail in Sightings

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