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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 13:21   #1
AlanR
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Help with identifying a Crow/ Rook please?

I am having real trouble with these two. Every time I spot what I think is a Crow, it turns out on closer inspection to be a Rook.
I took these from about 3 metres and I am still not sure.

Could it be a juvenile Rook?
[Taken this morning at Cotswold Water Park in Gloucestershire, between a lake and some trees.]
Alan
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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 13:27   #2
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Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Picus-viridis
I am having real trouble with these two. Every time I spot what I think is a Crow, it turns out on closer inspection to be a Rook.
I took these from about 3 metres and I am still not sure.

Could it be a juvenile Rook?
[Taken this morning at Cotswold Water Park in Gloucestershire, between a lake and some trees.]
Alan
Hope this finally attaches some files!
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Last edited by AlanR : Friday 25th May 2007 at 22:40.
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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 13:29   #3
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see other thread and i am sure you will know
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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 13:31   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Picus-viridis
Hope this finally attaches some files!
I'd say crow, rooks tend to show patches of bare skin on the face, they also (to me) look scruffier than crows.
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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 13:34   #5
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sorry original thread has gone

look at face of rook
http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery.../cat/all/page/1
and then a crow
http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery.../cat/all/page/3

if you can see any white/grey at the base of the bill its a rook

also a handy thing i was once told if 1 then its a crow , if several then probably rooks

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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 13:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithyed
also a handy thing i was once told if 1 then its a crow , if several then probably rooks
That's dangerous! I've seen groups of scores of Crows... (and I live in an area where Rook is rather local in appearance, so I tend to be on the lookout for them).
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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 13:39   #7
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Unfortunately two of our commonest birds present a serious ID challenge, and are much more difficult than people suppose as you have spotted by suggestign juvenile Rook. A Rook does not get its distinctive pale bill base until Feb to May of 2nd calendar year, and until then is very hard to tell from a crow, but what you have here is, nonetheless, a crow. See how curved the upper mandible is? A young Rook has a straighter and more pointed bill. It really is that subtle and I think many birders don't trouble to learn them apart as they are both common. I Shame really, and good on you for tackling a tough one early on. Good practice for the challenges to come. And don't think that anyone except the most experienced finds this easy. For my part I've been trying to practice crows and rooks and see the differences in jizz in distant and flying birds and I just can't.

Graham

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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 13:41   #8
keithyed
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That's dangerous! I've seen groups of scores of Crows... (and I live in an area where Rook is rather local in appearance, so I tend to be on the lookout for them).



hehe ya but does work most times i also find can get closer to rooks where if a crow sees you its off
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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 13:52   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitterntwisted
Unfortunately two of our commonest birds present a serious ID challenge, and are much more difficult than people suppose as you have spotted by suggestign juvenile Rook. A Rook does not get its distinctive pale bill base until Feb to May of 2nd calendar year, and until then is very hard to tell from a crow, but what you have here is, nonetheless, a crow. See how curved the upper mandible is? A young Rook has a straighter and more pointed bill. It really is that subtle and I think many birders don't trouble to learn them apart as they are both common. I Shame really, and good on you for tackling a tough one early on. Good practice for the challenges to come. And don't think that anyone except the most experienced finds this easy. For my part I've been trying to practice crows and rooks and see the differences in jizz in distant and flying birds and I just can't.

Graham
I am trying to go on the shape of the tail in flight - but you don't always get to see that!
Alan
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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 14:06   #10
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try the call crow kaaaa= http://www.scricciolo.com/eurosongs/Corvus.corone.wav

rook kraa = http://www.scricciolo.com/eurosongs/...frugilegus.wav
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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 14:07   #11
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Rook has rather longer narrower wings in comparison as well as the diffrence in tail shape. It flaps considerably faster than Carrion Crow too.
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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 19:26   #12
AlanR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithyed
sorry original thread has gone

look at face of rook
http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery.../cat/all/page/1
and then a crow
http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery.../cat/all/page/3

if you can see any white/grey at the base of the bill its a rook

also a handy thing i was once told if 1 then its a crow , if several then probably rooks

keith
Keith.
I came back to pick up these pictures again for my favourites and the links seem to have decayed with time.
Can you identify them again, please?
Alan
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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 22:06   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Turner
Rook has rather longer narrower wings in comparison as well as the diffrence in tail shape. It flaps considerably faster than Carrion Crow too.
I'd say this feature, along with call are the best to go on. I spent a while trying to look at Crows and Rooks tail shapes, but I could never get my head around it! Wing shape is alot easier to make out.

Everyone know the old saying: A Rook on its own is a Crow, and a Crow with some more is a Rook!!! Saying that, I saw a flock of 120 Crows today!!!!! This is only really safe if the flock is whirling around a big tree with loads of nests in it....that's a Rookery, Crows nest on their own.
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Old Monday 8th January 2007, 23:52   #14
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If you're looking at detail like bill curvature, then you could also take into account the Crow's more rounded skull and truly black plumage - a Rook will have a peaky skull and irridescent purple plumage in good light.

I can't tell them apart in flight, though.
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Old Tuesday 9th January 2007, 05:03   #15
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Thanks for the info - I'm glad I'm not the only one who has trouble with crow vs rook. Another worry I have on seeing a supposed crow with black bill is whether the thing is simply sillhouetted, and is in fact a rook with a white bill base. I have been caught that way more than once. I do try and look for bill shape as well, but the difference looks very subtle to me.
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Old Tuesday 9th January 2007, 08:16   #16
keithyed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Picus-viridis
Keith.
I came back to pick up these pictures again for my favourites and the links seem to have decayed with time.
Can you identify them again, please?
Alan

just go into Gallery and search for both you should get several good pictures

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Old Tuesday 9th January 2007, 09:39   #17
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Nobody has mentioned the rook's "baggy trousers" - so I will!

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Old Tuesday 9th January 2007, 16:11   #18
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We used to have enormous trouble up here with these two in the North and West of Scotland - that was until some bright spark went round and painted purple/grey sashes on the crows!!!!
We still get the 'black' ones popping up to keep me guessing, though.
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