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  • Writer's pictureWildlife Friendly Otley


I associate their distinctive clacking with visits to ancient buildings and ruins, but these sociable birds also contribute to the soundscape here in Otley. They like to nest in chimney pots – one of their many alternative names is Chimney Sweep Bird - and one once fell down into the open fireplace in our bedroom.

An ancient Greek saying suggests “The swans will sing when the jackdaws are silent” ie the wise will speak after the foolish have become quiet. Despite this, they are intelligent birds, like the other members of the Corvid family. They have complex social structures and have been seen using tools. Jackdaws are monogamous. Look closely and you can see a distinctive pale grey iris and a slight purple or bluish tinge to their cap. Collective nouns include a clattering and a train.

Photos by Pixabay


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