Rook Corvus frugilegus
Rook, Iona, Scotland, June 2005 - click for larger image The Rook is distributed in most of Europe and across southern Siberia to Central China. It breeds in large colonies in groups of tall trees but avoids dense woodlands.

It can be distinguished from the similar Carrion Crow Corvus corone by the bare greyish-white skin round the base of the bill in the case of adults.

Rook, Hadleigh, Suffolk, England, May 2005 - click for larger image In the case of the juvenile Rook (photo 3), it can be separated from the Carrion Crow by the longer, more pointed bill. Rooks also tend to have glossier plumage and a steeper forehead.

Another distinguishing feature is that Rooks are almost always in large flocks while Carrion Crows are found singly, in pairs or in small flocks. "A Rook on its own is a Crow; and a Crow in a crowd is a Rook" as my ol' Granpappy used to say.

Rook, Cortleferry Hill, Borders, Scotland, April 2005 - click for larger image Like all corvids, the Rook is smart and photo 5 shows one perched on my sunflower seed feeder. Another tactic they have used is to dive at the feeder from a branch above to get it rocking and spill some seeds on the ground.

There is more information available via Avibase.

The Rook is a very noisy bird especially at a rookery or breeding colony. The call is a hoarse, nasal croak.
Rook, Monks Eleigh, Suffolk, England, May 2008 - click for larger image
Rook, Monks Eleigh, Suffolk, England, April 2010 - click for larger image
Rook, Monks Eleigh, Suffolk, England, March 2012 - click for larger image
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