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Jackdaws in Ireland

Jackdaw on high alert

The jackdaw is one of Ireland's top 20 most widespread garden birds. He is a familiar figure to most people - even those that know little about birds.

Along with the related Jay the Jackdaw is Ireland's smallest crow. Like all members of the Corvidae family, Jackdaws are naturally inquisitive and very intelligent birds.

Adult Jackdaws are all black apart from their grey nape, shoulders and ear-coverts and pale grey eyes. The beak and legs are also black.

Irish Name for Jackdaw

The Irish word for jackdaw is Cág.

Jackdaw Feeding

Jackdaws are omnivorous in their eating habits. They are opportunistic feeders will as readily take small mammals or birds, as feed off human food waste.

Their feeding versatility means that they will feed on seeds, grain, berries, other fruits, insects, worms, other bird eggs, small mammals, young birds, young mammals (even rabbits), domestic food waste, and landfill materials.

Young Jackdaws are largely fed on invertebrates by their parents while in the nest.

Jackdaws Nesting

Jackdaw nesti with egg

A widespread bird Jackdaws are found almost everywhere in Ireland. It is only in mountainous areas of the west of Ireland is it rare or absent. They will use the old nests of larger birds or use holes in trees and crevices in buildings. A Jackdaw's nest is made from twigs and is lined with hair, rags, bark, soil, and a variety of other materials. Jackdaws nest in colonies and will often nest close to Rooks.

They lay smooth, glossy pale blue eggs are marked with blackish-brown mottling. The female incubates the eggs by herself. After the young chicks hatch they are fed by both parents.

Interesting Fact About Jackdaws

While the average lifespan of a Jackdaw is five years the longest lived individual lived for just over 17 years.


Scientific Name:
Corvus monedula



Irish Status:

Length: 34cm Wingspan: 70cm Weight: M & F: 220g

Call: High-pitched kyow or tchack.

Habitat: Woodland, scrubland, urban areas.

Diet: Omnivorous. Invertebrate, carrion, birds eggs, young birds & mammals, domestic food waste, fruit, seeds.

March to May
Breeding Age:
From 2 years
Number of Eggs:
No. of Clutches:
Incubation (days):
Fledging (days):
32-33 days
5 years

Conservation Status in Ireland: Green

Jackdaw Range in Ireland

The jackdaw is resident throughout Ireland.

Map of the range of Jackdaws in Ireland.

Arctic Terns in Ireland - Blue Tits in Ireland - Coal Tits in Ireland - Goldfinches in Ireland - Great Tits in Ireland - Grey Herons in Ireland - Jackdaws in Ireland - Longtailed Tits in Ireland - Magpies in Ireland - Mallards in Ireland - Mistle Thrushes in Ireland - Mute Swans in Ireland - Pheasants in Ireland - Puffins in Ireland - Robins in Ireland - Rooks in Ireland - Song Thrushes in Ireland - Starlings in Ireland - Swallows in Ireland - Swans in Tallaght - Swans Oil-Damaged - Waxwings in Ireland - Woodpigeons in Ireland - Wrens in Ireland

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