Please, do not hamper a young bird's life by picking it up, and taking it home with you. It is calling its parents to help them in locating it.
After fledgling from the nest, the parent birds will keep feeding it, and look out for it, until it will be able to look after itself.
And the reason you cannot see a parent is because of your own proxomity to the young bird. And while you are ebating if or not you should take the bird home, you keep the parent from giving it well needed nutrition in the form of a meal!


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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Magpies and Jackdaws

Magpie, Pica pica.

A few months ago, we first spotted a young Magpie, which needed more flying practice and had to improve on its land and take-off techniques.

They'd hang about the school yard (next door) and the front garden now and then. Unable to take any pictures there, .

Seeing it with another Magpie more and more often, I assumed it would be one of the parents. how wrong I was.
Yesterday I spotted two in the planter (birdtable) at about 8pm, and saw them taking away the pieces of apple I had put out for the birds. I know the Rooks and Jackdaws like them, and after they have been raiding the food for the little birds, I get them to change their diet for a bit of fruit, later in the day.

I got only one picture of both birds in the planter. One was out of focus, but I was able to see enough of its beak for me to see that this one too was a juvenile. Juvenile Rooks and Magpies have a black little ridge which slowly gets flatter and ten to disappear totally in spring the next year.
I remember seeing them being fed on the rail of the fence, very early spring. There would always be something in between me, a good picture, and the birds.

They might be young; I'm not convinced they are OK. Or at least this one.

I have had many of my Jackdaws which have gone bald, disappeared and probably died.
Jackdaws are particularly prone to this disease in which they loose their feathers.

Last year we had an individual which was very badly affected with it. Neil Hatch, (Birdwatch Ireland told me that he had often seen Jackdaws with this disease. As they are wild birds, there is nothing really that we can do for them.
Now, this is what I don't know. Are Magpies, which are related to Jackdaws, also perceptible to this disease? I will email Neil tomorrow, to see what he knows about this. In the meantime, let me know if you can tell me more.

Jackdaw, Corvus monedula

It is so sad to see these Jacks suffering from the (quite rapid) featherloss. And know that I am powerless to help. If only....

Touble is that, as social birds, and feeding in flocks, the disease can spread very easily from bird to bird. Those Magpies, like the Hooded Crows, do feed with them and the Rooks. This way, they could have picked it up also.


  1. Great post Yoke, I often learn things from your posts - this time I've learnt about the ridges on the beaks of jeuv's - thanks!
    You can't worry too much about the jackdaws/magpies disease - tho it has to be tough as you're seeing them in your garden all the time which brings you face to face with their trauma - and you'd obviously like to see them healthy.

  2. Thank you, Siobhan.
    I'm glad my posts are informative, it is what I try and set out to do. And it is great to hear feedback.


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