Magpies they tolerate, most of the time anyway, but the big crows they don’t like. Our cottages are in pairs with the chimneys back to back, and all the crow family like sitting up there, but if the jackdaws are there as a mob you won’t see old Joe Crow about. I watched a crow on next door’s chimney pot being dive bombed by a lone jackdaw one day. The jackdaw was doing huge loop the loops, going up two or three times the height of the house, then diving at speed and making the crow duck as he passed inches over his head. The crow finally gave up and flew off down the valley with a disgruntled ‘Caw’; quite an achievement for the single jackdaw who was only half the size of the crow, if that.
Crows, magpies and jackdaws are to be seen regularly on the chimneys, but it is only the jackdaws that I have seen disappearing down them, they perch facing into the hole and then suddenly drop into it. My neighbours have warned me of the perils of them building nests and blocking the chimney, and have covered theirs to prevent it, but although I regularly see them dive into the pots I have never seen evidence of a nest in the twenty years we have been there. We don’t often have a fire, but even the occasional one, on an Autumn evening or a chilly Spring day, must leave the chimney smelling pretty awful, and the bird book tells me they like to nest in old ruins. I think they are curious and inquisitive, like their name. Jack, or John, the common man; Jack-the-lad: daw is an old word for any member of the crow family.
Note; where People have gone across the world they have given the names they remember from home to local birds. It is only by Latin names that species can really be identified. Those here are:- The Magpie; Pica pica. The Jackdaw ; Corvus monedula. The Rook ; Corvus