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Rook


Rook
Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-31
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 400mm f4.0 DO IS USM, RAW ISO 640, Canon EF 1.4x Extender II
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/800 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-11-01 5:44
Viewed: 3766
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
An adult Rook at RSPB Elmley Marshes nature reserve. It seems that this is the first picture of a Rook in TN. It may not be the most beautiful or most searched after bird but I find something sympathetic about this bird. It could be its social behaviour, the way it lives in colonies etc.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Rook (Corvus frugilegus) is a member of the Corvidae family in the passerine order of birds. Named by Linnaeus in 1758, the species name frugilegus is Latin for "food-gathering".

This species is similar in size (4547 cm in length) or slightly smaller than the Carrion Crow with black feathers often showing a blue or bluish-purple sheen in bright sunlight. The feathers on the head, neck and shoulders are particularly dense and silky. The legs and feet are generally black and the bill grey-black.

Rooks are distinguished from similar members of the crow family by the bare grey-white skin around the base of the adult's bill in front of the eyes. The feathering around the legs also look shaggier and laxer than the congeneric Carrion Crow. The juvenile is superficially more similar to the Crow because it lacks the bare patch at the base of the bill, but it loses the facial feathers after about six months.

Distribution and habitat
Though resident in Great Britain and much of north and central Europe, vagrant to Iceland and northern Scandinavia, it also occurs as an eastern race in Asia where it differs in being very slightly smaller on average, and having a somewhat more fully feathered face. In the north of its range the species has a tendency to move south during autumn though more southern populations are apt to range sporadically also. The species has been introduced to New Zealand, with several hundred birds being released there from 1862-1874, though today their range is very localised. Here the species is an agricultural pest and it is being eradicated.

Behaviour

Diet
Food is predominantly earthworms and insect larvae, which the bird finds by probing the ground with its strong bill. It also eats cultivated cereal grain, smaller amounts of fruit, small mammals such as voles, acorns and the eggs of ground-nesting birds. In urban sites, human food scraps are taken from rubbish dumps and streets, usually in the early hours when it is relatively quiet. It has also been seen along the seashore, feeding on insects, crustaceans and suitable food flotsam.

Nesting
Most colonies are small, a few are large (smoothed)Nesting is always colonial, usually in the very tops of the trees. Branches and twigs are broken off trees (very rarely picked up off the ground), though as many are likely to be stolen from nearby nests as are collected from trees. Eggs are usually 35 in number, can appear by the end of February or early March and are incubated for 1618 days. Both adults feed the young, which are fledged by the 32nd or 33rd day.

In autumn, the young birds of the summer collect into large flocks together with unpaired birds of previous seasons, often in company with Jackdaws. It is during the autumn that spectacular aerial displays can be seen by adult birds that seem to delight in the autumn gales.

Voice
The call is usually described as "kaah" it is similar to that of the Carrion Crow, but usually rather flatter in tone. It is given both in flight and while perched, when the bird fans its tail and bows on each caw. Calls in flight are usually given singly, in contrast to the Carrion Crow's which are in groups of three or four. Solitary birds often "sing" apparently to themselves uttering strange clicks, wheezes and almost human-like notes.

Culture and mythology
Like many other members of the Corvidae family, the Rook features prominently in folklore. Traditionally, Rooks are said to be able to forecast weather and to sense the approach of death. If a rookery the colonial nesting area of rooks were abandoned, it was said to bring bad fortune for the family that owned the land. Another folk-tale holds that rooks are responsible for escorting the souls of the virtuous dead to heaven. William Butler Yeats may be making reference to the latter tale in his poem The Cold Heaven.

In Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic book series, Abel reveals that the parliament would surround a single rook, with that one telling a story. If the story was not liked, the parliament would attack and kill the speaker.

In Brian Jacques's Redwall series, rooks make an appearance in Mattimeo. Rooks, along with magpies and other similar birds make up the army of General Ironbeak, one of the villains in the book.

In Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series, rooks are seen as agents of the Dark and the sign-seeker, Will Stanton is warned never to fully trust one.

In Phillip Pullman's book Northern Lights Lyra Belacqua and Roger Parslow catch and heal an injured rook on the college rooftop.

In Stephen King's Dark Tower entry Wizard and Glass, one of the characters, Cuthbert Allgood, carries a rook's skull tied around his neck, claiming it as a good luck charm.

haraprasan, Adanac, siggi, nglen has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-11-01 6:12]

Hello Pekka,
Good photo of this Rook in beautiful light and clear colours. Excellent sharpness and POV. Nice eye-contact. Great composition.
Regards,
Peter

Hi Pekka,
A nice capture of this beautiful Rook bird. Very well composed with nice sharpness. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-11-01 10:07]

Hello Pekka,
I like how you have captured the sheen of the black plumage on this Rook. Great work Pekka on this fine composition. Rick

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-11-01 11:39]

Hello Pekka,
Lovely eye catch and good composition. Thanks for sharing.
Best regards
Siggi

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-11-01 12:57]

Hi Pekka. I can not remember seeing a Rook on TN . Your picture shows the colours in the feathers with its shine . with a huge bill and big legs. well done TFS.
Nick.. good notes too.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-11-02 0:28]

Hi Pekka,

I believe I have seen some other capture before on TN,although not that many,anyway it is a great capture well presented on the grassy BG,the details in the Black are great,what is quite tricky,but you exposed and managed very well,

thanks,

Paul

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-11-02 3:40]

Hi Pekka,
if there have ever been another Rook shot on TN then this one stands out of the crowd!
You've captured the rarely seen iridescence on the neck feathers of this fellow.
Very well composed.
Excellent colours.

Well done!
Joe

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