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Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-02-24
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-03-06 2:50
Viewed: 3036
Points: 64
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A photo from my archive, taken at the bank of a pond. You see some reed in the background.

The Jackdaw (Corvus monedula), sometimes known as the Eurasian Jackdaw, European Jackdaw, Western Jackdaw, or formerly simply the daw, is a dark-plumaged passerine bird in the crow family. It is found across Europe, western Asia and North Africa, and four subspecies are recognised. At 34–39 cm in length, it is one of the smallest species in Corvus, the genus of crows and ravens. It is a black-plumaged bird with grey nape and distinctive white irises. It is an omnivorous and opportunistic feeder, and eats a wide variety of plant material and invertebrates, as well as food waste from urban areas. The Jackdaw has benefited from clearing of forested areas and is found in farmland and urban areas, as well as open wooded areas and coastal cliffs.

The Jackdaw was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th century work, Systema Naturae, and it still bears its original name of Corvus monedula. The species name monedula is Latin for jackdaw.

There are four recognised subspecies. All European subspecies intergrade where their populations meet. C. m. monedula integrates into C. m. soemmerringii with the transition zone running from Finland south across the Baltic, east Poland to Romania and Croatia.
• C. m. monedula (Linnaeus, 1758), the nominate subspecies, breeds in south-east Norway, southern Sweden and northern and eastern Denmark, with occasional wintering birds in England and France. It has a pale nape and side of the neck, dark throat, and a light grey partial collar of variable extent.
• C. m. spermologus (Vieillot, 1817) occurs in western and central Europe, and winters in the Canary Islands and Corsica. It is darker in colour and lacks the whitish border at the base of the grey collar.
• C. m. soemmerringii (Fischer, 1811) is found in north-eastern Europe, and north and central Asia, from the former Soviet Union to Lake Baikal and north-west Mongolia and south to Turkey, Israel and the eastern Himalayas. It winters in Iran and northwestern India (Kashmir). It is distinguished by its paler nape and side of the neck creating a contrasting black crown, and lighter grey partial collar.
• C. m. cirtensis (Rothschild and Hartert, 1912) is found in Morocco and Algeria in North Africa. The plumage is duller and more uniform dark grey, with the paler nape less distinct.

Measuring 34–39 cm (14–15 in), the jackdaw is the second smallest species in the genus Corvus. Most of the plumage is a shiny black, with a purple or blue sheen on the crown, forehead and secondaries, and a green-blue sheen on the throat, primaries, and tail. The cheeks, nape and neck are light grey to greyish-silver, and the underparts a slate-grey. The bill and legs are black. The iris of adults is greyish- or silvery white. The iris of juvenile jackdaws is light blue, then brownish, before whitening around a year of age.

In flight, jackdaws are separable from other corvids by their smaller size, faster and deeper wingbeats and proportionately narrower and less fingered wings. They also have a shorter, thicker neck, a much shorter bill and frequently fly in tighter flocks. The underwing is uniformly grey, unlike choughs.
On the ground, jackdaws strut about briskly and have an upright posture.
Sexes and ages are alike.

Jackdaws are voluble birds. The call, frequently given in flight, is a metallic and somewhat squeaky, "chyak-chyak" or "kak-kak". Perched birds often chatter together, and before settling for the night large roosting flocks make a cackling noise. Jackdaws also have a hoarse, drawn-out alarm-call.

Jackdaws are highly gregarious and are generally seen in small to large flocks, though males and females pair-bond for life and pairs stay together within flocks. Flock sizes increase in autumn and large flocks group together at dusk for communal roosting. They become sexually mature in the first breeding season, and there is little evidence for divorce or extra pair coupling, even after multiple instances of reproductive failure.

The jackdaw forages in open areas and on the ground, but does take some food in trees. Rubbish tips, bins, urban streets and gardens are also visited, more often early in the morning when there are fewer people about. Jackdaws employ various feeding methods, such as jumping, pecking, clod-turning and scattering, probing the soil, and rarely digging. Flies around cow pats are caught by jumping from the ground or at times by dropping vertically from a few metres above onto the cow pat. Earthworms are not usually extracted from the ground by jackdaws but are eaten from freshly ploughed soil.

Jackdaws usually nest in colonies with monogamous pairs collaborating to locate a nest site which they then defend from other pairs and predators most of the year.
Jackdaws nest in cavities of trees, cliffs or ruined, and sometimes inhabited, buildings, often in chimneys, and even in dense conifers. They are famous for using church steeples for nesting.
Nests are usually constructed by a mated pair blocking up the crevice by dropping sticks into it; the nest is then built atop the platform formed. This behaviour has led to blocked chimneys and even nests, with the jackdaw present, crashing down into fireplaces.
Nests are lined with hair, rags, bark, soil, and many other materials. Jackdaws nest in colonies and often close to rooks. Paler than those of other corvids, the eggs are smooth, glossy pale blue speckled with dark brown, measuring approximately 36 x 26 mm. Clutches of normally 4-5 eggs, are incubated by the female for 17–18 days and fledge after 28–35 days, when they are fed by both parents.

Social behaviour
The jackdaw is a highly sociable species outside of the breeding season, occurring in flocks that can contain hundreds of birds.
Jackdaws mate for life, and like most birds who follow this custom become engaged early in life, long before sexual maturity. First the young males of a new brood struggle among themselves to decide their individual status, and then pairing with females begins. The jackdaw female promptly upon pairing assumes the same social position of her male. His rights and restraints become her rights and restraints.
Jackdaws have been observed sharing food and objects. The active giving of food is rare in primates, and in birds is found mainly in the context of parental care and courtship. Jackdaws show much higher levels of active giving than documented for chimpanzees. The function of this behaviour is not fully understood.
Occasionally the flock makes "mercy killings" during which a sick or injured bird is mobbed until it is killed.

Source: Parts of Wikipedia

siggi, marius-secan, maurydv, maaciejka, manuel75, PaulLees, lazyman, fransswanepoel, Alex99, CeltickRanger, paolo49, Argus, uleko, Noisette has marked this note useful
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To corjan3: cloning the twigsPeterZ 1 03-08 07:48
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-03-06 2:55]

Hello Peter.
Superb capture of a Jackdaw.The sharpness, pose, POV, OOF neutral BG and composition are all great to make this an excellent portrait.Best regards Siggi

Hello Peter,
What a great capture. Lovely capture with brilliant colors and perfect focus.
Excellent image taken from low POV. Outstanding details.
Thanks for sharing!

Hallo Peter,
a very beautiful capture of the Jackdaw, very good sharpness, splendid colours, a great TD visual impact with a marvellous BG
Have a good Sunday
Ciao Maurizio

Hello Peter
Another impressive bird photo with excellent composition, wonderful colours and great sharpness.

Ciao Peter, wonderful bird in nice pose on a beautiful blurry BG, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio

Hi Peter,
very nice capture of this bird. Like a portrait! Perfect sharpness and depth. Nice colours.
Thanks for sharing,

Hi Peter,
Wonderful capture!
Details and sharpness are very nice!
Composition and BG are great.
Thanks for sharing

Ciao Peter. Razor details and excellent sharp against the fantastic BG. Very well done.


Hi Peter,

What a good rendition of the Jackdaw, lovely plumage exposure, and i think the reflections in the water compliments the Jackdaw, good composition and well portrayed, (very informative note) TFS,


Hello Peter,

Well composed, good focus and interesting bird!
It's impressive that this bird's head is covered with a black and gray wing, and the wing of the body is dark grey color. I saw this bird firstly. And, it' effective for the contrast of the front target with clearness and the plant of background with blurred image.


Excellent photo Peter. regards yiannis

Top class photography Peter. Outstanding detail and well exposed image.

hallo Peter
leuke opname met mooi licht en super scherp
je ziet hem zoeken naar iets lekkers
de kleuren zijn erg goed
groetjes lou

Hi Peter! How are you?
Nice pic from your archive.Lovely dark bird in nice presentation, good sharpness, colors and BG. Good job, my friend!TFS indeed !
Have a nice week!

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-03-06 8:56]

Hi Peter.
What a great surroundings. Amazing BG. It looks like splendid semicircle. FG s also wonderful. But of course the key point is a nice picture of a beautiful bird. Exposure and reproduction of bird's colouration is precise. Direct POV is wonderful too. My best regards and TFS.

hello Peter

excellent close-up photo of the Jackdaw,
fine low POV at its level, great focus
sharpness and details, beautiful eye-contact,



  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2011-03-06 10:22]

Hello Peter
Nice capture of this intelligent bird
Thanks for sharing

Hello Peter,
Great close up of this Jackdaw captured with amazing sharp details and natural colours. Also, excellent POV, composition and OOF BG. Well done!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-03-06 11:41]

Hi Peter,there are amny jewels in your achive as i can see.What a beautiful pic whit the usual perfect focus and sharpnes....and the background is fantastic,seems an abstract peinture!Thanks for share,have a nice week,Luciano.

Superb capture of this Jackdaw, Peter! I love the chosen point of view and the incredible depth of field!Fine moderate sharpness and pleasant detail! Bravo Peter!
George Veltchev

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2011-03-06 13:33]

Hello Peter,
This capture is very sharp and the colours very natural. I like composition and POV.

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2011-03-06 16:26]

Olá Peter belo corvo de qualidade exelente com nitidez e composição muito boa parabéns.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-03-06 19:07]

Hello Peter,
Superb image of this beautiful Jackdaw. You captured very fine detail and the exposure is just right allowing us to get a wonderful view of it's attractive plumage. Well done!!
It reminds me so much of our crows except for the grey coloration. Your notes are interesting to read, I can't imagine having a nest of these guys suddenly drop down your chimney.

Hello Peter, nice shooting this crow, great setting and perfect the details of the bird. All the best, Paul

Bien enfocada y con un atractico efecto visual por el desenfoque del fondo.
Fidelidad en los colores con una buena pose del ave.
Saludos Peter: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2011-03-07 9:54]

Hello Peter,
A really fine portrait of a Jackdaw. The pose on the mound is great and taken from a great POV with fine sharpness and natural colours against a nicely patterned OOF natural BG.
Thanks and kind regards,

Hello Peter,
very very nice this image, great sharpness, natural colors and excellent POV.
Interesting notes you've attached, thanks for sharing
Hello Vanni

Hello Peter,
Wonderfully well done once again. I think by now you must be an expert on birds with all the photograpy and reading onthem that you have done. Would it be possible (and advisable) to successfully clone out the erect DOF twigs? Best wishes.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2011-03-08 7:57]

Hello Peter,
A very fine capture of a Jackdaw taken in beautiful light. Great sharpness, beautiful light and colours and I like the soft background too.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

wonderful colors performance Peter, beautiful scene and compositin with great clarity!
regards Nasos

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2011-03-08 12:33]

Hi Peter,
Jackdaw Wonderful capture, great sharpness and details have been.
Congratulations, regards

Hello Peter
superb image of this jackdaw captured in a perfect pose, sharpness on the black and grey plumage is very good,
wonderful colors and composition
Have a good night

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