The western jackdaw, also known as the Eurasian jackdaw, European jackdaw, or simply jackdaw, is a passerine bird in the crow family.
A passerine is any bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more than half of all bird species.
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Found across Europe, western Asia and North Africa, it is mostly resident, although northern and eastern populations migrate south in winter.
Four subspecies are recognised, which mainly differ in the colouration of the plumage on the head and nape.
In biological classification, subspecies is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, or a taxonomic unit in that rank.
Plumage refers both to the layer of feathers that cover a bird and the pattern, colour, and arrangement of those feathers.
The common name derives from the word "jack", meaning "small", and "daw", the native English name for the bird.
Measuring 34–39 centimetres in length, the western jackdaw is a black-plumaged bird with a grey nape and distinctive pale-grey irises.
It is gregarious and vocal, living in small groups with a complex social structure in farmland, open woodland, on coastal cliffs, and in urban settings.
Sociality is the degree to which individuals in an animal population tend to associate in social groups and form cooperative societies.
An omnivorous and opportunistic feeder, it eats a wide variety of plant material and invertebrates, as well as food waste from urban areas.
Invertebrates are animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column, derived from the notochord.
Western jackdaws are monogamous and build simple nests of sticks in cavities in trees, cliffs, or buildings.
About five pale blue or blue-green eggs with brown speckles are laid and incubated by the female.
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera; with their forelimbs adapted as wings, they are the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight.
The young fledge in four to five weeks.
Fledging is the stage in a young bird's life between hatching and flight.