Smaller, and not as mythologized as crows and ravens, jackdaws are nonetheless charming birds. They are clever opportunists, profoundly sociable and I can’t help but feel they have something of a sense of humour.
I once lived in an old cottage where jackdaws had nested in the chimney. As I wanted to use said chimney, I had a long, filthy job of extracting their wood. They didn’t give up, and all that winter would throw odd twigs down, or just get on the top and make jackdaw noises. I moved out, and they reclaimed their space. It felt like a friendly sort of a battle.
I’ve noticed over the years that jackdaws are so sociable, they’ll attach themselves to other corvid groups. I used to moor up under a rookery sometimes, and there would always be a few jackdaws knocking around as well. Locally, they have an enormous roost in the park. At sunset you can watch them flying back from the hills and fields, in groups of half a dozen or so, to form a giant roost of hundreds of birds. I often see them heading out in the mornings as well. As the roost settles for the night, the sound of them chatting and getting comfortable is so loud, that we had to wait for them to finish before anything bardic could begin in their space.
What can jackdaws teach us? That nature doesn’t always take itself too seriously. That noise, squabbling, and messing about are not exclusively human characteristics. That we aren’t the only creatures to actively seek the company of beings from a different species.