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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

Birds: The Rook

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( Originally Published 1894 )

The Rook which is often confused with the Carrion Crow is found in many parts of Europe and is abundant in England, where it is common to see groups of trees near gentlemen's houses given up to their occupancy. Here they build their nests, rear their young, keep up an incessant cawing, quarrel and make peace as do all other large communities. If a new-comer appears among them, he is generally received in a very rough manner. At Newcastle, a pair of rooks attempted to introduce themselves into a rookery, but were so rudely treated, that, in high dudgeon, they ascended to the steeple of one of the public buildings, and built their nest on the vane. Here they lived for several successive seasons, turning about with every change of wind, and regardless of the busy scene in the town beneath. The rook is gregarious, in which particular it differs from the Carrion Crow which lives in pairs. Further differences are found in the feathering of the head and neck of these birds, that of the crow being much more completely covered than that of the rook. The croak of the crow is, moreover, much harsher than the caw of the rook. Like most, if not all other birds and animals, the rook serves a useful purpose in nature, in checking the multiplication of the worms and insects which prey upon the crops; and doubtless were he able to argue the question he would contend that helping the farmer to produce his harvest he has a right to a share in it. It is only when the rook in his turn gets too numerous that he needs a similar check.

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