Saturday, 13 June 2009

Young Jackdaw, Young Greenfinches

Whilst enjoying some welcome sunshine in the garden yesterday I noticed a group of Jackdaws constantly visiting the same area. Wandering down to the end of the garden I could see a baby Jackdaw at the base of a chimney stack a couple of houses away. A group of about six adults were flying around, sometimes landing on the chimney but never next to the young one.


Baby Jackdaw 2

They seemed to be calling to it and encouraging it to fly up to their level. After much coming and going the baby eventually joined them next to the chimney pot and after resting a while flew off with the adults.

Young Jackdaw

At no time did any of the adults attempt to feed the baby. They just appeared to want it to move away from that spot.


For the past two nights there has been no sign of either Hedgehog while I've been watching. Possibly a combination of lighter nights meaning a later start for them and the fact that I go to bed early.

Flapping Galore

This morning the Greenfinches visited with three babies. All the babies were sat on the shed cables and I though the adult was going to get blown off by the draught made by all three youngsters flapping their wings furiously at the same time.

A short video of one youngster being fed this morning:


  1. Amazing to watch, the RSPB always say to leave young alone, it obviously works.

  2. Great behavioural observations John.
    Glad the Jackdaw had a happy outcome. It must all be so bewildering to the young ones.
    Those Greenfinches certainly know how to attract attention. :)

  3. Yes Adrian. I think things usually turn out for the best if left well alone. It took at least half an hour for the adults to encourage the little one to move. Maybe it had flown in to the chimney stack and was dazed for a while. It was nice to see how many adults seemed to be concerned about its welfare.

  4. Thanks Keith. I have found it surprising how much there is to observe in a small area around my bungalow.

    There is no way a young Greenfinch is going to be ignored by the parents :)

  5. Hi John,
    Good Greenficnh video :)
    The Jackdaws like chimney pots don't they - last year we had one fell down the chimney and somehow found its way beneath our floorboards upstairs. Took the boards up, wrapped the panicy bird safely in a tea towel and released it in the garden. What fun!

  6. Very interesting photos and observations of the Jackdaws! I happened upon a site that had a section called "Jack in the Pot". I tried to put in a link, but don't think your comment section accepts them. Do you think your young Jackdaw might have fallen out of a nest in the chimney pot in the first place and landed on the ledge?

    What fascinating photos of the feeding Greenfinches. You've got me wondering about all that flapping, and what the connection might be to the feeding process. Perhaps the flapping helps the bird raise up a little, or helps keep its balance, or just part of the fledging process. Hmmmm.....

    Perhaps the hedgies have gone off on their "Honey" moon. I hope you see them soon to alleviate any worry.

    Although 'still photos' can be stunning, your videos have shown me how fascinating videos of wildlife can be. Hence, I have put up a video on my site called "Meet Mr. Flicker", which shows a Northern Flicker at work at the bottom of my garden and in an apple tree.

  7. Thank you Rob. I'm glad I had a horizontally vented pot put in the top of the chimney pot. In the past I have had Starlings drop in for a visit :(

  8. Hi Glo. Thank you. Still photos are great for details of plumage, etc. but I think video is the medium for behaviour, even short snippets. Much easier than trying to describe it.

    Each type of bird seems to have developed its own method of making sure the parent feeds it. Fascinating to watch.

    I have to cut and paste any URLs when I add them in the comments section. After a quick Google I found a section titled Jack in the Pot on the BTO site.

    I think the Jackdaws, along with the other corvids, are nesting in one or more of the small clumps of trees in the village.

    Still no sign of the Hedgehogs though Bobby found an interesting scent trail last night which might have been them.

  9. This really is fascinating behaviour by the adults with their concern for the young. It will probably remain a mystery as to why is was there in the first place. Nice to have a happy ending though.

    And the greenfinch - what demands! Lol

  10. DI.Bobby will solve the hog mystery before long I'm sure!

    Poor Jackdaw! It did look a bit disorientated but fascinating how the community rallied round.

  11. Hi Tricia. The corvids really do seem to be sociable birds and by all accounts are well known for looking after each other.

    Those young Greenfinches are quite able to feed themselves, which they do from time to time, but still like to eat the easy way. Especially at breakfast time!

  12. Hi Jan. The young Jackdaw did seem very disorientated for quite a while. Looking at the light coloured patch on its back my two thoughts were - had it been attacked by some other bird or had it still got some downny feathers which made it a poor flier - maybe having fallen out of the nest early. It was fascinating the way the whole group seemed to take it in turns to encourage the youngster and possibly to protect it.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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