April 22, 2011
Last week I had the pleasure of taking a few snapshots of a bird, the Jackdaw. It's a common bird throughout Europe and especially in Holland. It's a member of the Crow family although a separate species. They also make towns their habitat and are pretty much used to humans. Sometimes they barely get out of the way when you're on the sidewalk although they do tend to keep a comfort zone of a few meters. The bird in the picture above was even tamer. I was sitting in my garden and the bird just touched down a meter away from in order to take a zip from the water in the birdbath. If you check the picture you'll also notice a band on the leg of the bird. Meaning it was probably raised (helped) by humans as a chick and released later on. That would explain the calmness around humans.
What these birds also tend to do is "bathing" in the sun. Might seem weird, laying in the sand with wings stretched out but I've been told that has a purpose. Since the bird is already colored black it soaks up a lot of heat on its feathers. Birds also tend to pick up flees just like dogs or cats, that sunbathing they're doing is intended to kill the parasites they are carrying in their feathers. They seem to get hot pretty quick on a sunny warm day because after the treatment they fly for the shades and need a drink of water. They are also intelligent birds and just like crows they like shiny objects. I had thrown out old bread that had gotten hard and this bird just picked it up, moved to the birdbath and threw the bread in to soften it and then it was eaten. Pretty clever if you ask me.