Jackdaw breeding colony – Audi Environmental Foundation supports species protection

The Jackdaw was once strongly represented in Bavaria - in the meantime, however, its populations are under serious threat. With the support of the Audi Environmental Foundation, this trend is now to be reversed.

05/25/2012 Reading Time: 1 min

Children with nesting boxes for the jackdaw colony
Everything for the jackdaw: Kindergarten children have made nesting boxes to save the breeding colony.

The jackdaw (Coloeus monedula), which was chosen as “Bird of the Year” in 2012, was once a frequently seen breeding bird in Bavaria. There has been a dramatic decrease in their populations in some regions. Changes to the living environment of the birds, which live in social groups, have contributed to this decrease. The Wonsees municipality still accommodates one of these valuable jackdaw breeding colonies. However, even here the population has been decreasing for years. This was the reason for the community's strong commitment to a conservation project and in particular to this colony, which has existed here for centuries. The project, which was preceded by intensive monitoring, is set up on multiple platforms.

Preventive concepts against the disappearance of the jackdaw

The main focus of the remaining jackdaw breeding pairs in the market town of Wonsees is concentrated at the locations of Wonsees and Sanspareil. The lack of adequate, suitable nesting sites is one of the limiting factors in the declining numbers in the colony. Another point, which makes it more and more difficult for the small corvid, is the lack of knowledge about the requirements of this synanthropic bird species. For a long time, it had been able to "adapt" successfully to living together with its human neighbors. However, when a species completely disappears, this is then difficult to reverse. Well thought-out, preventive plans implemented at the right time, make a contribution towards ensuring that this scenario of loss of biodiversity does not occur.

Concrete species protection – preserving diversity together

Special nest boxes have been installed at selected locations, so that the jackdaw, as a characteristic species of the region, will still be encountered in the market town of Wonsees in years to come. These nest boxes, commonly called secondary habitats, which have been creatively designed by kindergarten children, make it possible to enhance the success of the natural reproduction of the colony-living bird species.

This way, they are making a direct contribution to the stabilization of the colony. The colony is regulated by the natural food supply and natural predators (natural enemies).

Children with nesting boxes for the jackdaw colony
Everything for the jackdaw: Kindergarten children have made nesting boxes to save the breeding colony.

Living environmental education - Species protection is fun

In the eyes of the project partners, it is essential to bring back to life the often no longer available knowledge about the lifestyle of the jackdaw. Stimulating environmental education activities with the community’s children, which bring the topic to life, contribute to creating a better understanding of the relationships between man and the environment.

Insights into how jackdaws raise their young – human children for bird children

Insights into the hidden life of jackdaws should help towards making a lasting contribution to maintaining the population of this likeable bird species, which is a characteristic species for the region. Therefore, special camera modules that remain undetectable for the birds have been installed. These will transfer their data to on-site monitors (or better still, to a monitor in the kindergarten) and the internet.

Project partners


  • Market Town of Wonsees (Sanspareil)

  • Wonsees Market Town Daycare Center

  • Verband Artenschutz in Franken® (Association for Species Protection in Franconia)
  • Audi Environmental Foundation