Collared Jackdaw

Two “Jackdaws” at Dennis Cove on April 14th 2013 were noted with white collars, one of which was quite striking in the field.

Of the four races in the Western Palearctric, three have been recorded in Britain.

The resident race ‘Western Jackdaw’ Corvus monedula spermologus can develop a paler grey nape ‘shawl’ which can be especially prominent on males. The mantle and underparts are fairly uniform blackish grey with little contrast with the wings. This race also has a slightly bigger bill.

The nominate race ‘Nordic Jackdaw’ C. m. monedula, which breeds in Fenno-Scandia has a variable pale grey collar on the lower neck and nape. The mantle and underparts are paler than the wings and crown.

The ‘Russian Jackdaw’ C. m. soemmerringii, is very similar to Nordic Jackdaw but has a pale shawl and more striking collar.

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Although the collars and shawl were striking and appeared very different from Jackdaws I normally see, I think that they are well marked ‘Western Jackdaws’, (possibly males), due to the lack of contrast between the wings and the rest of the bird.

Any comments are welcome.
Cramp & Perrins 1994, The Birds of the Western Palearctic Vol 8
Harrop 2000, Identification of jackdaw forms in northwestern Europe, Birding World 13: 290 – 295.
Madge & Burns, Crows and Jays

©Camelbirder 2013.


3 thoughts on “Collared Jackdaw

  1. They look more Nordic than Western to me! What were the weather conditions? Cloudy weather offers the best conditions for interpreting the tricky plumage characters.

    1. Unfortunately I didn’t record the weather only the wind strength which was very fresh. but I think it was sunny periods.
      I thought that I would have been able to see a marked contrast both in the field and on the photograph.

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