Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Western Jackdaw

Corvus monedula
Meet the Western Jackdaw. These mostly-black birds are the second smallest members of their genus, and are one of the littlest species in the entire Corvid family. Western Jackdaws can be found across Europe, as well as in North Africa and Central Asia. Most of the populations are residents, though some in the north and east migrate. They are a very adaptable species, and can be found in habitats that range from sea cliffs, to meadows, to urban building ledges!

There are actually four different subspecies of Western Jackdaw. All of them differ by location and by their head and neck coloration. All four have dark grey/black bodies, but the size and lightness of the crown varies.

Western Jackdaws
Western Jackdaws are incredibly social, and can be found in large flocks that number into the hundreds. These flocks function with a strict hierarchy, and birds will fight and create threat displays to assert dominance. The birds are also very social when it comes to feeding. Not only do the flocks forage together, but they also share their food with one another. They are opportunistic with their feeding, taking grains, insects, eggs, and just about anything else they can find.

During the breeding season the birds pair up, and most of these couples will stay together throughout their lifetimes. Pairs will preen and groom each other to strengthen their bond. They build nests in crevasses, dropping sticks in order to make a platform (which can be problematic for chimneys). They lay 4-6 greenish-blue eggs at a time, and both parents incubate, defend, and care for their offspring.

Western Jackdaws are under no real conservation threat whatsoever. In fact, it is estimated that their global population is somewhere around 90,000,000 birds and rising. They are able to be hunted in several different countries throughout their range.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Europe, Asia, North Africa
Size : Length up to 15in (39cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Passeriformes
Family : Corvidae -- Genus : Corvus -- Species : C. monedula

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...