Corvus frugilegus


Rooks are large crows that make big nests out of twigs in the top of trees, and gather in large colonies known as 'rookeries'; they often nest in villages and graveyards, but are also birds of farmland and grassland. The male courts the female with a display of strutting, bowing and cawing, and between three and five eggs are laid after mating. Rooks are omnivorous and feed on insects, earthworms, seeds and root crops, sometimes caching their food for later.

How to identify

The Rook can be distinguished from the similar Carrion Crow by its pale bill and bare, grey bill-base, and the 'baggy trousers' of feathers around its legs.

Where to find it

Widespread, but absent from the far north-west of Scotland.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

To help populations of all our birds, The Wildlife Trusts are working towards a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Corvus frugilegus
Crows and shrikes
Length: 47cm Wingspan: 90cm Weight: 310g Average Lifespan: 6 years
Conservation status