Sunday, 10 April 2011

Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

I have something of a soft spot for the corvids. I think it is the level of intelligence they can display and the wonderful folklore that surrounds many of the species in this taxonomic group. The Romans saw the Jackdaw as a warning of rain to follow; in some cultures a Jackdaw on the roof is said to be a harbinger of a new arrival; and – contrary to my belief that they are clever birds (in experiments, rooks, for example, have been proven capable of reasoned logic by learning to use a stone to access a food source) – I love the ancient Roman/Greek adage that "the swans will sing when the jackdaws are silent", meaning I suppose that the learned will be heard once the stupid have shut up! Capturing this Jackdaw in flight was relatively simple – it was mobbing Mallards and Black-headed Gulls for bread being thrown by an elderly couple at a creek on the Norfolk coast – but no less rewarding for that. I love the detail in the wing, tail and neck feathers and that keen eye focusing in on its target. The second shot – showing the daw coming in to land on a fence post out of frame – is reproduced here in black and white simply because I think the image worked better for it.

Both Canon 1Ds MkII, 1,5,000 sec, f/8, 336mm-400mm at ISO 400

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