Rook – 2003-07 breeding

Corvus frugilegus – YDFRABreeding resident

Comparison with previous atlas:

Breeding confirmed220211
Breeding probable33
Breeding possibleexcluded from totalexcluded from total
No of tetrads occupied223 (of 478)214 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads46.7%43.7%

The Rook looks similar to a Carrion Crow but has a stepped forehead, a pointed bill, a grey–white area of bare skin around the base of the bill and loose flank feathers giving it a “baggy trousers” appearance. The large nest built of sticks is placed in the crown of a tree and several nests are grouped close to each other so that a colony is formed.

There have been many small shifts in the sites of rookeries in the county but no great change in overall distribution. Note the “Possible breeding” category has been omitted when assessing distribution, as Rooks recorded feeding in fields do not give any indication of the origin of their rookery. Site relocations have mostly been due to tree felling but in some cases are for unknown reasons. No complete county rookery census has been conducted during the last 30 years. 

Based on the three previous censuses a county population of between 8,000 and 10,000 pairs was extant over a period of 31 years. The BBS has indicated a 15% decrease in Wales between 1994 and 2007. However limited local surveys conducted over a period of 15 years in the 1980’s and 1990’s, showed fluctuations in annual totals but stability overall. On the information available, it seems reasonable to conclude that there has been no marked change in the Pembrokeshire breeding population and that a countywide census is desirable.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports which may contain more detail than shown here

More about the Rook in Pembrokeshire