Protrait of a jackdaw (c) Olive Taylor


Diminutive members of the crow family, jackdaws are renowned for their love - and often theft - of bright, shiny objects. Herein might lie the origins of their common name, as 'jack' is used traditionally to denote something smaller than the norm, and also to refer to a rogue or thief. In both cases the jackdaw doesn't disappoint. The 'daw' is probably an imitation from its cawing call, but can also mean a simpleton. Those with open fires may well consider the jackdaw a pest as their messy nests of sticks and twigs often block chimneys, and have been known to fall down them - bird included.

Scientific name: Corvus monedula

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Eurasian jackdaw,
  • European jackdaw,
  • Western jackdaw

Watch video clips from past programmes (3 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


The Jackdaw can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Europe, Himalayas, Indian subcontinent, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Jackdaw distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Jackdaw

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Garden birds Garden birds

    Nestcam close-ups, expert identification guides and specialist wildlife cameras give a privileged view of a very British obsession: garden birds.