As residents of a village near Doncaster call a jackdaw named ‘Derek’ “horrible” and a “menace,” Facebook’s ‘Angry People in Local Newspapers’ group unsurprisingly tear these nasty NIMBYs apart
There are 1.4 million breeding pair of western jackdaws (corvus mondeula) in the United Kingdom according to the RSPB’s A-Z of Birds and they are quite rightly protected by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Known for the “metallic chack of its call,” this small, black crow with “noticeable” pale eyes and a “distinctive silvery sheen” is lauded as “intelligent” and “subtly handsome.” They are loved by many, but the majority of the residents of Rossington, near Doncaster have come out to share their hatred of one particular example who frequents their locality.
The bird in question – which has, for some unknown reason, been named ‘Derek’ – was featured on the Facebook group ‘Angry People in Local Newspapers’ [APILN] today after the Doncaster Free Press’s Darren Burke reported that locals have decided “the thing is a menace” earlier this morning.
Reporting on how the jackdaw in question has “been bringing fear to Rossington for a number of years,” the clearly wild bird – which most are ridiculously claiming to be a “domesticated pet” – stands accused of “divebombing” children and attacking workers. It has been termed “horrible” and one resident went as far as to rage: “I will shoot the thing and I don’t give a sh*t who owns it.”
Rather like with a pugnacious pensioner named John Aeberhard of Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire – who wanted to electrocute otters and catch herons in wires and whom was featured in The Steeple Times after being highlighted on APILN in March 2020 – the hateful people of this South Yorkshire former mining village clearly have no appreciation of the “gregarious” nature of a bird that Shootinguk observes: “Can be taught to imitate the human voice. Like all crows, they are the most intelligent of birds.”
Derek is clearly too bright for the ‘Doleites’ (the regional nickname for locals) of Doncaster; one can only hope he flies off to pastures new before he meets a sticky end at the hands of the nasty NIMBYs of Rossington.
Residents of Rossington on ‘Derek’:
Known originally as ‘daws’ (a name meaning “knavish or stupid person”), the Old English ‘jack’ (referencing “something small”) was added in the 16th century. A collective name for a group of them is a “clattering” – as Shootinguk claims it “perfectly evokes the noise made by a large group travelling between roosts and feeding grounds.”
Of this now infamous example of a bird that has wingspan average of 70cm and which normally lives for 5 to 6 years, residents of Rossington told Darren Burke:
Against (the majority):
- “A menace.”
- “That bloody bird.”
- “Cannot stand the bird.”
- “The thing is a menace.”
- “It comes to something when kids can’t even go into their own garden without being petrified because of that bloody bird divebombing them trying to attack them.”
- “To whomever owns the horrible thing, if you want to try domesticate a bird like that then keep it at home because if it hurts my kids there will be hell to pay and I don’t care who that offends.”
- “The thing is a menace, attacking kids in school playground, on the street, in their own garden. If it was any other animal it would have been put to sleep following the first attack on a child.”
- “Angry isn’t the word. I don’t care who thinks I’m overreacting or it’s just a bird but it could take someone’s eye out.”
- “They got made to come in and have indoor break at school last week coz [he] was attacking kids on playground.”
- “Me and my colleague was working outside at a customer’s house and got ambushed by [him]. He’s an absolute terror.”
- “I hope it doesn’t attack one of my grandkids. I will shoot the thing and I don’t give a sh*t who owns it.”
- “A horrible, nasty little thing.”
- “A feathered fiend.”
In favour (the minority):
- “Good old Derek.”
- “It’s a wild bird, no one owns it.”
- “My kids were feeding him earlier, he’s ace.”
- “Does it wear a balaclava and ride a quad? It’s a bird!”
- “Derek’s mint! Just carry a bag of crisps and he will love you forever lol [sic] he just wants to be your friend!”
- “My daughter has told me a few times that Derek has caused all the kids to go inside at play time at school she said most of the kids love him.”
- “Poor Derek – I know the bird please leave it alone it means no harm.”
- “The village mascot.”