No rooks roosting and none feeding in the nearby fields. It feels lonely…
Stick collecting began on 28th Feb when Ellen saw Rooks with sticks and I saw several early morning on 2nd March but recent poor weather seems to have put paid to that. There are just 14 bundles in the trees, however, with fine weather forecast for this week I expect that will change. The high winds and poor weather of the last few days have caused some casualties with three adults dead under the trees today, possibly battered against branches in last week’s gales.
Rooks have generally been roosting except in the poor weather. In the pre-roost tonight I counted 67 |Jackdaws, one or two of which were candidates for monedula, there were likely in excess of 120 Jackdaws all told.
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.
One individual bird, I’m pretty sure its the same one, continues to feed under the feeders outside the kitchen window come sun or snow…
On Saturday there were 74 nests or start of nests, AONs would be a bit of an exaggeration.
In the fine weather of the last few days there has been a huge amount of activity with much tooing and froing. AONs are now up to 52 (Saturday). The bird seen sitting a week ago is still doing so. Birds are continuing to collect large sticks but moss and grass are often recorded. A bird tearing up dead grass in the front garden seemed to have a guard posted on the nearby fence posts whilst it was on the ground and vulnerable. One bird regularly feeding under the feeders and several risking coming into the back garden Rosa to break of sticks, it must be a useful mixture of flexibility and strength as they go to some trouble to break pieces off.
Going round to count the nests I put birds onto the wires.
Jackdaws continue to come into the roost but unfortunately I haven’t been able to locate the feeding flock again to check for monedula.
Looks like a bird was sitting today, high in one of the large nests. Not so many large sticks being broaght so I suspect the activity is around bringing nest lining stuff and perhaps also food for sitting birds.
40 nests counted today.