Corvus monedula



This afternoon I heard a lot of noise on my roof. The jackdaws ( kauwtjes, Corvus monedula) were shrieking and fighting with something on top of my chimney. At least six of them were trying to fit on that small place. I watched for a minute of ten. Then I saw one malebird on top of a femalebird and I concluded (wrongly) that there must be one female and 45 males and that that was what the fight was about.

The shrieking  continued for 3 hrs and a half. Cat Benno became very upset with it, trying to find his way up the steep roof to catch at least one of those noisy birds. And then finally: silence. Blessed silence….  for about ten minutes, then I heard a noise in my livingroom. Nothing to be seen. A few minutes later a louder bng, also inside my livingroom. The sound as if on of my paintings, standing on the floor, had fallen. But there was nothing out of place.


And then, half an hour later, I looked out my window to my frontgarden and saw something strange in my pruned lavenders !  This thing:



I do not know the english word for it, but it is heavy metal wire formed to keep roeken ( a bigger soort of kauwtje) and jackdaws out of the chimneypipes. The dutch word for it is ‘roekenkap’.

The small end is in the chimney-pipe and can be bend to the right size so it can fit thightly.

The ball-sized top  is at least 20 cm in diameter and the thing weights , I guess, between a pound and  kilogram.

The jackdaws had been busy together to work the thing out of the chimney!

I am admiring their cunning and strenght! I realy am.

I took the roekenkap to show it to my neighbour.
And while I was outside I saw 2 jackdaws very busy with branches and throwing those in my chimneypipe.

Ouch, that is not good news. I allready share my roof with 2 pairs of starlings. But now I understand the banging noises I did hear in my livingrrom. Those must have been the first 2 big branches they do start with.

Well, as said, I showed the ‘roekenkap’to my neighbour and he was even more astonished than I was, because, so he told me, 7 years ago he himself did place this roekenkap  in the pipe of the chimney. As he did with the other pipe in the same chimney. To make sure they would stay there he tigh-wrapped them together with a black tighwrap. Those tighwraps do not dissolve outside. So apart from wringing the roekenkap outside the pipe and lifting it before throwing it in my front-garden they also must have bitten through the tighwrap!!


I have to confess: I have a deep sympathie for this family of Jachdaws that worked together to give 2 of them place for a nest. I would  I could afford them to stay. But such a nest in a chimneypipe is dangerous ofcourse. And a nest, esp with young birds in it, is a noisy thing.


My neighbour has promised to put back the roekenkap tomorrow at the end of the afternoon. Before the nest is ready and there are eggs in it.


Sorry birdies, you have to move home tomorrow.



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