Last Saturday the number of nests, or twiggy bundles up the tree, as AON (Apparently Occupied Nest) might be an exaggeration, was 83 (that was on 20th) on 14th there had been 80.
Last weekend judging by the behaviour of the pair I can easily observe from the kitchen, eggs had hatched. Yesterday evening when I went out in the dark I could hear young in another nest, so there are certainly now young hatched.
Elsewhere on this site I received a message about rooks being shot, I think in the county. Here’s the post I put on Orkbird in relation to that:
I have been informed that someone is shooting Rooks using an air weapon, not sure where in the county this is happening, I do have a name, however. I’m guessing its near a rookery.
I would have thought that this is a case for SPCA if nothing else as the birds are likely to be maimed and injured by an air weapon and not killed outright.
What is the law in respect of shooting corvids or destoying their nests? My understanding is that it is illegal to shoot nests with eggs and young, is that correct and are there any other restrictions?
Farmers claim that rooks damage seedlings in the spring. However, I’m not entirely convinced of this, although they are opportunist omnivores. I don’t see the ones from this rookery having any impact on the barley crops in the fields that surround their home. I do know that rooks feed largely on grassland invertebrates and in that respect are beneficial to some crops. In the autumn rooks do eat barley, and are not averse to knocking the crop down to get at the grain. However, they are cautious and wary beasts and a bird scarer or even oft moved objects will put them off.
I realise some folk don’t like rooks, noisy and crap everywhere. However, anyone who takes a few minutes to watch their behaviour will rapidly become fascinated by their intelligence and general quirkyness. Just look at Morris’s photo of the rook he’s kindly let me post on my Parliament of Rooks site (https://aparliamentofrooks.wordpress.com/), a grand bird indeed.