Rook – Corvus frugilegus

Rooks are large black birds belonging to the crow family. They have black glossy feathers, a rounded tail, loose and ragged thigh feathers, a peaked crown, bare white skin around bill base, and a beak which tapers to a point. These distinguishing features help to identify it from similar crows like the Carrion Crow (Corvus corone), Jackdaw (Corvus monedula), and the Raven (Corvus corax). The juvenile has a dark face at first, and a thin bill. It can grow up 46cm long.

It feeds on worms, beetle larvae, seeds, grain and roots from the ground. It also forages for insects and roadkill. It is a very social bird and builds its nests in large colonies called rookeries. They are constructed from big sticks lined with grass, moss and leaves. The female lays 3-6 eggs in 1 brood from March to June. They can live for up to 10 years.

It is seen all year round. The Rook is a familiar part of the rural landscape, and is typically found in farmland and villages where there are tall scattered trees for it to nest. It is also quite a noisy bird with its loud, raucous call, especially within the colony. It is common and widespread throughout the United Kingdom, except where they are absent from the far north-west of Scotland.