Western Jackdaw

Western Jackdaw Coloeus monedula soemmerringii breeds Altai Mountains and Tianshan in Xinjiang and winters extreme southwest Tibet. BEHAVIOR Often in pairs or flocks, sometimes dense, sometimes mixed with other corvids. Compared to “true” (Corvus) crows, flies more like pigeon, with faster, deeper wing beats. Cavity nester. ID & COMPARISON From distance may be mistaken for black Corvus; but closer inspection reveals distinctly grey nape and head-sides, an even paler, thin half collar, and white eyes. Juveniles have black or greyish eyes and largely black plumage. Juvenile Daurian Jackdaw Coloeus dauuricus also largely black but has silver streaking on nape and head-sides. Adult House Crow Corvus splendens also has substantial grey plumage but is slimmer and larger and has black eye and much thicker bill. BARE PARTS Bill slender, black; feet black. VOICE Much like Daurian; crow-like caw and squeaky, abrupt kiaow. — Craig Brelsford


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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