Rook – 1994

Corvus frugilegus – YDFRABreeding resident

1984-88
Breeding confirmed220
Breeding probable3
Breeding possibleexcluded from total
No of tetrads occupied223 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads46.7%

Resident and abundant in all districts according to Mathew (1894), who noted that thousands perished in the severe winter of 1880. Lockley et al. (1949) also knew the Rook as resident and numerous.

They now nest throughout Pembrokeshire wherever there are suitable trees amid farmland, and are only absent from the mountain tops and the offshore islands, though they occasionally visit Ramsey and to a lesser extent Skokholm and Skomer.

The BTO census of 1944-1946 located a total of 9,664 nests in 147 colonies in Pembrokeshire. The Dyfed Wildlife Trust conducted a repeat survey in 1971 and found 10,109 nests in 281 rookeries. The BTO census of 1975-1976 logged 8,280 nests in 268 colonies. It would seem therefore that the Pembrokeshire population has been fairly stable for a long period; a sample census conducted by T.C.E. Hughes in 1986-1993 reached the same conclusion.

Saunders (1975) noted that the average rookery size had decreased between the 1944-1946 survey and that of 1971. He also noted that rookeries were sparse in the east of the county. The Breeding Birds Survey of 1984-1988 found that many areas in the east had since been colonised.

Lockley (1947) noted a regular south-west to north-east movement off the sea during March and early April. McCanch (1985) noted large scale departures to the west and north-west over the South Bishop during November 1975, including 350 on 6 November and 110 on 8 November. No other marked movements have been noted.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

LOCKLEY, R.M. 1957. Pembrokeshire. London, Robert Hale

McCANCH, N. 1985. A lighthouse notebook. London, Michael Joseph.

SAUNDERS, D.R. 1975. A Pembrokeshire Rook survey 1971. Nature in Wales 14: 190-195.

More about the Rook in Pembrokeshire