CORVUS monedula, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 156 (1766) ; Naum. ii. p. 93, Taf. 56, fig. 1 ; Hewitson, i. p. 232, pl. Ix. fig. 2 ; Gould, 15. of E. iii. p. 133 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iii. pl. 61 ; Newton, ii. p, 305 ; Diesser, iv. p. 523, pl. 261 ; (Sharpe), Cat. B. Br. Mus. iii. p. 26 ; Oates, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, i. p. 22 ; Saunders, p. 239 ; Lilford, ii. p. 54, pl. 23 ; C. collaris, Drummond, Anr and Mag. Nat. Hist, xviii. p. 11 (1846); (Sharpe), Cat. B. Br. Mus. iii. p. 27.
Choucas gris, French; Cuneta, Portug.; Grqja, Span.; Taccola, Ital.; Dohle, Germ.; Kerkkaauw, Dutch; Kaa, Dan.; Kuje, Norw.; Kaja, Swed.; Naaha, Finn.; Galka, Russ.
Male ad. (Sweden). General colour deep black, the wings and tail glossed with pnrple; back and rump slightly tinged with greyish ; under parts tinged with slate-grey ; nape, hind-neck, and sides of the neck white, with a greyish tinge ; bill and legs black ; iris nearly white. Culmen 1.3, wing 9.0, tail 5.2, tarsus 1.9 inch. The female has the neck greyer and darker, and the young are duller in colour, the under parts greyer, and the grey on the neck much darker and duller.
Hab. The whole of Europe up to 63° or 64° N. Lat. ; ranging into Western Siberia, Afghanistan, Kashmir, N.W. Punjab, and even to Tibet ; North Africa ; a straggler to the Canaries.
In habits the Jackdaw is lively, noisy, and cheerful, essentially gregarious, being almost always to be met with in companies or associating with Rooks. Where unmolested it is extremely tame, but where there is any sign of danger it is wary enough. Its flight is wavering and rapid, and it often performs evolutions in the air. Its note is a clear short chock, and when many are calling at the same time it is not unpleasing. Its food consists of larvae and insects of various kinds, worms, shell-fish, crusta¬ceans, and to some extent also of grain, and it is said also to steal the young and eggs of other birds. Its nest, which is placed in an old ruin, the hollow of a tree, a hole in a cliff, and even in a rabbit burrow, is a careless structure of sticks, straw, feathers, wool, &c., and the eggs 4 to 7 in number are usually laid in May, and vary from greenish white to pale bluish green in ground colour, more or less spotted and blotched with pale purplish, or purplish brown blotches, and light or dark brown surface-markings ; in size averaging 1.36 by 1.01. Specimens from Eastern Europe and Asia (C. collaris) have as a rule the nuchal collar less tinged with grey and sometimes almost pure white, but this is not constant.
599. Corvus monedula