Key facts

Scientific name: Corvus monedula

Status: Resident breeding species

Breeding birds: 1,400,000 pairs

Conservation status: Green

Family: Crows & allies

Length: 30 – 34 cm

Wingspan: 64 – 73 cm

Weight: 220 – 270 g


Jackdaws are small blue-black crows. They have a black forecrown with a blue-gloss, and the hindcrown, nape and sides of the head are pale grey. 

Their upperparts are dark grey with a blue tinge and they have dark grey underparts and darker upperwings and tails. 

Their bill. legs and feet are black and their eyes are light grey. 

Both male and female jackdaws look alike.

Juvenile jackdaws have a brownish tinged body and the head lacks the blue gloss. Their eyes are dark brown until the end of the first winter and they reach sexual maturity at two years. 


Jackdaws breed from early April to mid May, nesting in colonies. They will use a hole in a tree or a cavity in a rock face or building, or an abandoned burrow. They make their nests from twigs lined with rags, soil, bark and hair.

Jackdaws lay 4-6 pale blue eggs with blackish-brown speckles. The female incubates the eggs  for 17-18 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge at 28-32 days.


Jackdaws eat a varied diet including Invertebrates, fruit and seeds. They will also eat carrion and other birds’ eggs and nestlings.


Where to see them

 Jackdaws can be seen all year round in fields, woods, parks and gardens. They are social birds and will often be found with rooks and crows.


Fernand DEROUSSEN/xeno-canto

Did you know?

The jackdaw’s scientific name derives from the Latin for money due to its supposed fondness for shiny objects.

Birds in your inbox

Sign up for the latest news and updates

Gifts, bird care, books & more

Most popular

More reading