When it’s a Rook!
By Bernie Bell
We feed the birds in our garden, and it looks like our new neighbour has also started to put out food for the birds.
A couple of days ago, I watched what I thought were four Ravens, yes, four Ravens, poking about under the bird table. We regularly see one, sometimes two – this was the first time I’ve seen four, all together, and I was sure they were Ravens. We have a pair of Hoodies (crows) who visit regularly, and a flock of about 20 Rooks sometimes descend, who are based in the woods at Woodwick. So, I thought I knew the difference – that Ravens are very big, very black and have a big, chunky greyish coloured beak, and they make that unmistakable ‘caaaak’ sound.
Four Ravens, which could/should mean….more Ravens! As there aren’t all that many of them around these days, that would all be very much to the good. https://www.change.org/p/natural-england-stop-the-legalised-killing-of-ravens-and-other-wild-birds-in-england/u/24317817?cs_tk=Ak1iwUwRvLeBMn1CllwAAXicyyvNyQEABF8BvMRo9y3z3fcAGcA7FiJGhZU%3D&utm_campaign=146cea8ecf4f4c4e8acc01554244903d&utm_medium=email&utm_source=petition_update&utm_term=cs
I got very excited, told people, Fiona-Who-Used-To-Be-Next-Door, said she felt a tune coming on – ‘Ravens in Rendall’. https://www.fionadriver.com/
But……….it turns out that they were Rooks, not Ravens! They came back and I took some pictures, and looked them up in a bird identification book – they’re Rooks. I thought that the only ones with a big, grey beak, were Ravens, and that Rooks had a more pointy, darker coloured beak, but…..I was wrong! We do, regularly, see one Raven, and sometimes two (so the tune would still be valid, Fiona!) – what got me excited, was the idea of four Ravens in the garden. Still – Rooks in the garden isn’t bad either.
Pics show….Rook – shouting “I am a Rook, not a Raven – don’t give me an identity crisis.” And – harmonious birds – Rook, Pigeon and Aubers the Pheasant.
When is a Raven not a Raven? Last Spring, the BBC didn’t know either:
There are a couple of really big ravens that hNg around the Kitchener Memorial, frequently on top of the tower. They’re so big you can see them from a long way off. I’d an encounter with one on the ground which just refused to move. I’ll try to track down the photos I took, but it was bloody huge, beak like a long black dagger and it just glared at me.
As it glared, did it croak…”Nevermore, nevermore………..”?
In Celtic legends ravens represent Morrigan, Goddess of War.
Maybe just as well there are not too many of them around!