Rooks

Will rooks attack one of their own?

Thankyou.

  • Hi Vivienne, being part of the crow family Rooks are very social and intelligent birds. I'm not an expert but I believe they have been know to attack their own species, particularly a sick or injured bird. I have witnessed vicious attacks between Magpies which are part of the same covidae family so although its not something you would see every day I think the answer would be a tentative yes. Jackdaws can attack other Jackdaws and their offspring. especially during breeding season when prime nesting spots can be fought over, as you may have seen a year or two back on BBC Springwatch program. Fights could also be over a mate or food as well. Once again I'm no expert, these are just my own opinions from what I have witnessed myself.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • We were very sad about the rook, Draig Du. He ended up in the wildlife garden, and was calling to his family, and they were calling back. Eventually they stopped calling. Draig had some very narrow escapes with a local cat, very narrow, but between us and our neighbours, and some other young folk who walk through our area, Draig managed to escape harm. Draig became a personality, and we all looked out for him. We organised him perches, and a feeding station in the tree,(a silver birch in the wildlife garden) all the while not encouraging him to get to familiar, as the plan was to get him strong enough to fend for himself. Well he used to visit 2-3 times a day, and got stronger and stronger and flew higher and higher, albeit landing somewhat clumsily!!! But he was making headway. He shared the tree to some extent with the blue tits etc., but never any problems.
    About a week ago my neighbour mentioned the terrible noise in the tree out the back (not Draig's feeding tree in the wildlife garden, but a tree he would manage to get quite high up in the branches), I also noticed it. Different noise from the rooks, and presumed it was because they wanted to get their breakfast, but couldn't access their bird table in the wildlife garden, because of the building work next door. Keeping in mind that Draig didn't seem concerned, and came to feed with the work going on.
    Next thing my neighbour said he thought there was a dead bird under the tree. My husband went to find the bird, but it wasn't there. However, my husband looked in the bin at the top of the road, and found the body of the bird, a rook, in the bin. So he brought the bird home. I was sure it was Draig. His beak was dark, like a youngster, not white yet, otherwise he could have been any young rook I suppose. We buried Draig in the wildlife garden by his tree. It was Draig for sure, we have not seen him since.
    Interestingly Draig appeared to have a companion which was a young Jackdaw, who used to sit on the perch by Draig. This Jackdaw appeared again today, moving in all the same places in the tree that Draig did, almost mimicking Draig's movements, moving in parts of the tree that we never see any rook or jackdaw . Quite low, around the nook of the tree where the branches go from the trunk.
    So that was the story of Draig Du. Actually miss him/her
  • Oh dear, what a sad story and sorry to hear about the rooks demise. Sounded like you did what you could for this bird but nature can be cruel at times and if Draig had an injury it may have been targeted by other rooks or birds. It is sad when you get to know some of the bird characters around the garden and lose them to injury, sickness or attack; I used to be able to pick out certain individuals in our garden by their repeat actions and favourite areas. They would get to know our movements pottering around the garden and would tolerate our presence, especially if food was on offer ! I can understand fully that you miss this bird very much but on the positive side you have other garden birds to enjoy as they visit your garden and feeders.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"