Suffolk Rook Survey - Get Involved!

One of the most evocative sights and sounds of Suffolk winter mornings and afternoons are the noisy, black clouds of Rooks and Jackdaws commuting to and from their roosts and daytime feeding grounds – hundreds of Corvid cousins, calling to each other as they struggle against the wind or are blown forward on it.

Soon they will be rediscovering their nest sites – Jackdaws to the chimney pots (and Barn Owl boxes!), and Rooks to the rookeries.

It is at that point that you come in.

Suffolk Ornithologists' Group (SOG) is seeking the help of their brothers and sisters in birding across the county to help in a two-year survey of Suffolk’s Rooks, counting total bird and nest numbers at as many sites as possible.

The last count by SOG (supporting a BTO survey) took place in 1975, with 15,850 nests recorded in 929 rookeries across the county.

Now, generous funding from Suffolk resident Jenifer Bridges-Adams and support from the highly respected naturalist and conservationist Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, Fifth Earl of Cranbrook has enabled the Rook to once again take centre-stage in this latest survey, taking place in 2019 and 2020.

SOG is hoping that birders will involve their families and particularly any children in the count, as a relatively easy way to engage with the natural world of their own communities. Scout and Guide groups, schools and other local organisations and institutes will be encouraged to participate.

You will be able to submit your counts on the Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service website, where you can accurately map your rookeries and record bird numbers.

The survey page is available at:

http://www.suffolkbis.org.uk/rookerysurvey

As you probably know, Rooks are early nesters – the task will be much easier before the leaves are on the trees……

So, the information should be simple to collect:

  1. Location of rookery
  2. Number of birds
  3. Number of nests

Please encourage as many friends, relatives and other birders to take part!