I’m back in England for a few weeks, so you will notice a change of place.
It is autumn here, and although the colours are not as dramatic as in Maine, they have a subtle beauty:
Did you notice the egret flying across the photo above? Here it is in closeup, with its bright yellow feet:
The jackdaws are everywhere.
Their scientific name, Corvus monedula, tells you they are small corvids, and they are famed (like magpies) for stealing shiny objects and hiding them. They mate for life, and they are communal birds, often seen in large flocks, sometimes nesting in old buildings, like these sheep barns:
They are a Eurasian species, not native to the Americas. For some reason, while other corvids (especially crows and magpies) now frequent large cities, including London, I see them mainly in the countryside. But they do like people:
A Golfer’s Unusual Companion: ‘Jack” the 16 months old Jackdaw pet of Mr AW Aitken of Ventnor, Isle of Wight, accompanies its owner everywhere he goes and is here seen perched on Mr Aitken’s shoulder whilst he has a round of putting. ©1933 Hulton-Deutsch Collection via Getty Images
PS Jackdaws were studied by the famous ethologist Konrad Lorenz, and he noted that in captivity they often make same-sex bonds. Bruce Bagemihl wrote extensively about same-sex liaisons in jackdaws and more generally in the animal world, and Bruce was once a linguist like me, so my two worlds collide again!