Rook – 1894

Corvus frugilegus – Resident, and abundant.

The county appears to suit the requirements of the Rook, as it is numerous in all districts, and is evidently increasing in numbers. In the severe winter of 1880 thousands perished. Their dead bodies were to be seen high up in the trees suspended frozen among the branches, and when the deep snow disappeared hundreds were discovered to have been buried beneath it, especially in the vicinity of small splashets, where the birds had sought in vain for food.

The Rooks from Sealyham, where there is a vast rookery, used to pass over Stone Hall regularly twice every day, in the morning shortly after sunrise, when they would be on their way to disperse in search of food over the mountain country beyond, and in the evening at sunset, on their return to their rookery.

Whatever the weather they never seemed to deviate more than a foot or two from their aerial path, and we have often watched them in stormy winds doing their utmost to keep to it. The “mountains” evidently afforded them an abundant supply of varied food, and we ascribe to this their numbers throughout the county, in many parts of which there are very extensive and densely populated rookeries.

Although the Rook is a great thief, stealing grain, potatoes, eggs, and murdering young rabbits and small birds whenever he gets the chance almost as persistently as the Carrion Crow himself, yet we have always considered that the evil he does is outbalanced by the good, in his devouring such countless hosts of injurious worms and grubs that, if they were not thus kept in check, would soon reduce the whole country to a state of desolation and sterility.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Rook in Pembrokeshire