Successful generalists

The park’s jackdaws are clever and successful opportunists, ready to step into almost any ecological niche.

Their diet is largely composed of seeds, fruit and invertebrates, but they are also carrion eaters, they will visit your garden bird table, rummage through your rubbish and raid other birds’ nests for eggs and nestlings. As specialist feeder populations fall, the generalists, like jackdaws step up into the gaps.

Jackdaw raiding a nest (DKG); woodland nest site (DKG)

Jackdaws are social birds; they roost and nest communally, posting lookouts and watching each other’s backs. Their usual habitat is woodland but as woodland has been cut down, they have adapted to town life, using disused chimneys as nest sites, and returning year after year. They gang up on predators, mobbing and dive-bombing birds of prey and cats to protect their nests.

a grey hood and a blue eye (CC0)

A mature jackdaw has a grey hood, and the iris of its eye is a pale blue. They are smaller than rooks and crows with which they are often confused, especially when they are immature and lack these distinctive colours.

Jackdaws are common and numerous, a species that has learned to live successfully alongside humankind, making use of our environment.

Yet another generalist:

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