Rook (Corvus frugilegus)
The rook is a very large (45cm) black bird in the crow family. It has a bare face patch around its beak, which makes it look different to others in the family. It also has thigh feathers that look a bit like its wearing shorts!
Rooks like to nest in a big group called a rookery at the top of high trees when the trees are still bare in early spring. One of these can be seen at Newburn, just along the road from here (see video below). They make a lot of noise when they’re all roosting as there can be 100s or even 1000s together. A large flock of rooks is known as a ‘parliament’. The male brings sticks for the female to build the bulky, cup-shaped nest, which is lined with soil, soft wool and moss.
They like to strut around fields where they feed on leatherjackets and wireworms.