This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The Jackdaw (Corvus monedula), included in the order In-sessores and family Corvinae or true Crows, is distinguished by its comparatively short black bill, white eyes, head and neck of a grey colour, glossy black upper plumage, dusky colour of the under plumage, and by the black legs. The average length is about 12 in. The nest is built in towers, spires, and other elevated situations, and even in towns and populous cities breeding is carried on freely. The eggs are of a greenish colour, sparingly spotted, and from five to six; the female is exceedingly attentive to the young after they are hatched. The food of the jackdaw consists of worms, Crustacea, and mollusca, varied, when opportunity offers, with fish, beetles and other insects, grubs and caterpillars, seeds and roots, after the manner of rooks, eggs, young birds, even of poultry and pheasants, as well as feeding on their food; mice, killing them with a single blow and swallowing them head foremost, after the manner of terns and gulls; and other garbage.
Jackdaws are occasionally given to feeding upon cherries, and they, with rooks, sometimes do much damage in fruit plantations by settling on young bushes and breaking branches with their weight, especially gooseberries, and particularly where town manure is used, being attracted by the garbage. They, like rooks, are gregarious, the two associating in autumn, and like jays and magpies, readily tamed, being very amusing in captivity. One the writer had in juvenile days used to travel backwards and forwards from home to the fields with horse and cart, and, though not talkative, invariably perched on an apple tree and chattered incessantly while the church bells chimed for both morning and afternoon service, and on Sunday would not take journeys anywhere.