Something to ‘Crow’ About

The sun blazed in a bright blue sky, the garden bloomed under its warmth, vibrant greens with splashes of brilliant colour, the pond shimmering silvery blue…finally some sunshine, some heat to the spring.

The net was up, but with the bright light very few birds were falling for that trick. One group of bird that rarely falls for any kind of trap are the corvids, a cosmopolitan group of birds that includes crow, jays, ravens, magpies and jackdaws. They are considered amongst the most intelligent birds, even some of the most intelligent of all animals having shown self awareness, counting and tool use. Of this group we most often catch Jays, but the other corvids rarely fall for mist nets or traps that we predominantly use to catch birds.

On this bright sunny day however things were different, the temptation of food and the pressures of feeding young was overriding the caution of a net. A flurry of black, the net bounces and there lying in the pocket was a small black crow with a distinctive silver sheen to the back of the head and a piercing pale eye, a Jackdaw!

A stunning Jackdaw!

With the Jackdaw released and back chattering noisily, things again quietened down in the garden… that is until another large bird bounced into the net. This time it was a carrion crow! A large forbidding looking bird, with glossy, black feathers, dark eye and thick bill, this intelligent bird is one of the most adaptable and cleverest of all.

Cracking Carrion Crow

Within the county of Clwyd, North Wales very few carrion crows are ringed each year, with none ringed in 2011 and only two in 2010! As for Jackdaws around 15-20 adult birds are ringed each year within the county… as such a more than unusual catch for this garden and region!

No messin’

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