Friday, 22 January 2010

Feeding the Rooks

I’ve been watching the birds on the bird feeders. I’ve put out seeds and fat balls. The apple tree is full of tits and finches.

But they’re not eating anything. They can’t. Instead they’re watching the rooks.

In fact another 20 or so have just flapped into the garden like black, ragged witches and they’re sitting on the branches and the walls and on the garage roof. It’s like a scene from The Birds. There’s something quite sinister about the way they’re eyeing those fat balls.

And then they move in for the kill.

One of them has a go at the seed feeder, but he’s too big to perch, so he flies at it and head buts it and a load of seeds scatter over the grass. His friends flap down to feast.

Then one starts on the fat balls. These are easy. He clings onto the wire with his feet stabbing with his beak. More food falls to the ground and more rooks descend on my garden.

I’m going to do something about this. I pop down to my local RSPB shop and buy a nice new fat ball feeder that comes with an outer wire cage that the small birds can get through but the big beastie’s can’t

I hang it up and head inside to watch.

The rooks arrive, first one, then two. Then about fifty arrive at once.

“Ha,” I think, “Thwarted you.”


One of the rooks is clinging to the cage upside down flapping his wings and stabbing with his beak. He can just about reach and bits of fat ball scatter around him.

Then his friend lands on the branch above and starts to unpick the knot with his beak.

Well that didn’t work did it!


  1. Hi!

    Wow, you have rooks!! I've never seen a rook. Crows but not rooks. But they are clever determined creatures aren't they?? They sound very big and bad!

    I've now taken over filling a few birdfeeders left by my neighbour when he moved out. They're hanging from a tree that straddle both front gardens. A pair of crows nested in the tree last year(they had one scruffy lovely chick !) and much as I adored them they did scare the little birds away, poor things. Patsy Collins (she has a blog and likes bird feeding too) suggested hanging a few coconut feeders as the pair of crows are now back.

    I meant to get a few tomorrow, so I don't know if that'll work for crows let alone rooks. It's worth trying maybe?

    Good luck and I hope the little birds get a chance at the bird feeders too.

    Take care

  2. Hi Old Kitty,
    I'm really surprised you've never seen a rook as I see your location is the United Kingdom and they are ever such common birds.

    These come from a big rookery at the bottom of the field behind my house. On summer evenings they all take flight and cricle overhead in a big black cloud.