So why the hostility to our feathery companions? Well, apart from the exotic looking Jay, all are monochrome in their dark shaggy coats. But the magpie is surely one of our most elegant and beautiful birds....with her sleek, pied body and long tail with iridescent blue-green flashes....yet she carries the worst curse of all her family - how could something so graceful be unlucky?
Perhaps it is their blackness. Perhaps their unmelodious cries; the incessant droning of a rookery in springtime drives some to hurl stones into the tree tops....but not I. I listen in to the hubbub, intrigued by the toing and froing of the different voices. Then the sweet 'chip chip' of jackdaws passing overhead in clear blue skies.... is to me the sweet sound of summer arriving.
Perhaps we find their intelligence unsettling. They are cunning and calculating. They observe and learn and figure things out....qualities we revere in ourselves and fear in other creatures. I have heard of several jackdaws adopting humans as friends, communicating using beak tapping, croaks and squeeks....eyeing any pretty rings of gold or colourful gems on the hands of those who reach for a stroke. Perhaps it's their petty thieving we disapprove of.