Jackdaw, a European conirostral bird of the crow family, and genus corvus (C. monedula, Linn.). The form is more compact and graceful than that of any other British corvine bird; of about the size of the domestic pigeon, with large head, short neck, ovate body, and moderate wings, tail, and feet; the bill is shorter than the head, stout and conioal, slightly arched, and sharp-edged; the gape almost straight; the plumage full and soft; the tail straight, of 12 broad, rounded feathers; claws arched and strong. The length is about 15 in., the bill 1 1/4, and the alar extent 30 in.; the female is slightly smaller. The bill and feet are black, irides grayish white, upper and fore part of the head

Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) black with bluish purple reflections; grayish black about the eyes and throat; back and sides of neck bluish gray; rest of plumage grayish black, approaching leaden gray on the under parts; wings and tail black, the latter with the primaries glossed with green, and the secondaries with purple. In rare instances, individuals have been found variegated with white. It is a very active, impertinent, playful, and loquacious bird, altogether the most agreeable and sociable of the crows. The flight is rapid, very irregular, and generally accompanied with frequent cries. It dwells in ruined buildings, towers, steeples, and retreats in high rocks, and is often found in the heart of large cities; it nestles in the same places, and occasionally in chimneys, making a large nest, and laying about five bluish white eggs with brown or pale purple spots at the larger end, 1 1/2 by 1 in.; the eggs are laid in May, and the young are abroad by the end of June. Sallying from their retreats at early dawn, they betake themselves to the fields in search of worms, larvae, and insects, walking about gracefully, but frequently quarrelling; they also eat mollusks, Crustacea, fishes, and even carrion; when feeding, they are very vigilant; they pick up food from the streets with the rooks and pigeons, and possess the corvine propensity to carry to their nests all kinds of objects which can serve for their structures, and to steal shining articles of value; they may be taught many tricks, and to pronounce words.

They inhabit Great Britain and most parts of the European continent; species in Asia are very nearly allied to this," both in appearance and habits.