Jackdaw Corvus monedula, Choucas des tours.
8 occurrences (5 daws, 2 daw, 1 choughs)
ADO 2 3 246 p you may take upon a knife's point and choke a daw withal.
LLL 5 2 897 When turtles tread, and rooks. and daws,
MND 3 2 21 Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort
TN 3 4 35 p At your request? Yes, nightingales answer daws!
1H6 2 4 18 Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.
TRO 1 2 248 p the eagles are gone: crows and daws, crows and daws.
COR 4 5 45 p Then thou dwell'st with daws, too?
A loss of mature trees with nest holes might have limited the jackdaw in some areas and accelerated its use of buildings as nest-sites in others.
Often confused with the chough which Shakespeare associates mainly with noise (see CHOUGH), daws are related to foolishness: TILLEY (D50) "as wise as a daw" or the character of Sir Jack Daw in Ben Jonson's Epicoene.
When Warwick wants to express his ignorance of legal matters, he exclaims:
But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.
(1H6 2 4 18)
In one instance it is clear that the "russet-pated chough" (MND 3 2 21) is a jackdaw. Russet covered a large range of neutral colours from brownish to blackish but Harold F. BROOKS, editor of the Arden Midsummer Night's Dream, quotes Florio's World of Wordes (1598) who equates "light-russet" with "gray" which fits the Jackdaw's grey nape.
Just as in The Winter's Tale with the choughs (4 4 618, see CHOUGH), daws are associated with chaff in Troilus and Cressida, and the pattern insists on this association. "Daws" thus echoes "chaff" in the mind of the audience as these birds were confused and that anyway "crows and daws" are of little value, just like "chaff and bran".
Asses, fools, dolts. Chaff and bran, chaff and
bran. Porridge after meat. I could live and die in
the eyes of Troilus. Ne'er look, ne'er look, the
eagles are gone: crows and daws, crows and daws.
I had rather be such a man as Troilus, than
Agamemnon and all Greece.
(1 2 245-50)
The contrast effect is also obtained when Malvolio answers scornfully: "At your request? Yes, nightingales answer daws!" (TN 3 4 35 p).