Rook Bird – Introduction

Rook birds (Corvus Frugilegus) are very gregarious birds, congregating in large groups of nests (rookeries), a familiar sight in tall trees all over Britain, where their apparent bickering with and stealing from their neighbors is accompanied by those hauntingly raucous calls.


Bird Information and Facts


Country lore holds that the higher the rooks think it safe to build the nests in their treetop colonies, the better the summer is going to be. Curiously, colonies of seals are also known as rookeries, perhaps because of the similarities in the denseness of population and the harsh barking din that both creatures make!

Bird Appearance

Rook is a large black bird. Black all over, except for a patch of bare pale off-white skin at the base of the bill, which is quite thin and straight; slightly angled forehead. Close up, the black of the adult bird has a purple sheen to it. Thigh feathers of both adults and juveniles are long and shaggy, giving them a baggy-trousered look.

Bird Appearance and Habitat


The bird has a length of 45cm (18 in.)


Drain-out caw, as well as other shorter croaks.


Rook birds are the inhabitant of lowland farming countries, in rows of trees copses, and woodland.


The bird is found all year throughout Britain and Ireland except far north of Scotland.

Similar Species (not to be confused with)

Similar species of Rook bird is the carrion crow, which has a shorter bill and flatter forehead, the raven, much bigger at 63 cm (25 in.); and the much smaller jackdaw with its grey not black hooded head.

Interesting Facts about Rook Birds

In Ireland, if a rook was seen to peer down a chimney, it warned of coming death in the households. This may be connected with the old belief that every rook had three drops of the devil’s blood in it!

In fact, rooks are very likeable birds and are both intelligent and sociable. Although they cause some damage to young crops, they are not the threat to young livestock that, for example, the carrion crow sometimes is.

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