Saturday, 10 April 2010


Go visit Monochrome Weekend for some wonderful photography. For those coming over from there, thank you for the sights & inspiration. The colour version of these shots are in the previous post. 

If rooks fly straight from their nests the weather will be fine. 
If they twist and turn, rough weather is approaching. 
But if they stay by their nests screaming gales are on the way. 
When they are late leaving their nests and then hang around
 the village street it will rain later. 

They are an omen of the summer weather to come:
 if they are high up it will be fine, but low down and it will be cold and wet. 

If men had wings and bore black feathers,

few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
- Rev. Henry Ward Beecher

Members of the same family, rooks & crows are often hard to distinguish, & are usually interchangeable in lore & superstition... nearly always portrayed as intelligent or magical. 

I've just watched one manipulate a 3 foot piece of branch for its nest; unable to fly more than a few yards (s)he turned it over again & again, changing its grip & balance point several times until satisfied, then was able to fly up to a low building. From there it dragged the branch up to the highest point, then launched into a long swoop, nearly hitting the ground before managing to climb & reach the tall trees of the rookery  a couple of hundred yards away.

It didn't waste time or energy trying time and again, but considered things, making careful adjustments, until it seemed to know it was time to fly... and obviously had a plan of action! Another rook, presumably its mate, stood by, cawing encouragement or perhaps instruction(or maybe swearing with frustration?) and accompanied the final flight. I just wish I could see how they used it in the nest construction!


Dragonstar said...

Love this post! Your first photo is really great.

Serline said...

Lovely capture of the little fellow and the silhouette of the bird is beautiful.

aims said...

They are the predictor birds. Lovely!

Carver said...

I like the detail in the first shot of the bird and also great to see it in flight. I also enjoyed reading the post. Birds are so interesting to watch and learn about their habits.

Lindy MacDuff said...

Great photos for monochrome! Enjoyed reading the post, as well.

Thank you for your visit and comment on my monochrome photo. =)

Nydia said...

I love crows, and this one is new to me, we don't have them in Brazil! Thanks for stopping by at my Mono, and sharing this!

Kisses from Nydia.

Anonymous said...

i love this family of birds too, very cheeky and mysterious! we have lots of ravens around here.. wonderful to watch :))
love your photos.. and i'm sure these delightful creatures are prone to the odd expletive lol

SquirrelQueen said...

Perfect photos for monochrome, the first shot is beautiful. I enjoy learning about birds. The rook I am not familiar with, just crows and ravens.

Jasmine said...

Such a beautiful post Suzi and thse pictures are amazing.

I was only looking up the difference and significance of rooks, crows and ravens the other day. I like your explanation best, I am always dissapointed by the gloom and bad prophecy attached to these wonderful birds.

Dave said...

The texture and definition of the first image is perfect.

Laura Hegfield said...


Barry said...

S Just love the mystery achieved in the photo of the rook in flight - the rook so perfectly framed by a slightly out of focus forgraound - great shot. B

Suzi Smith said...

Thank you for your comments folks! We have plenty of rooks here & some crows, but I've never seen a raven! Glad it provided some info for some of you. Appreciate the feedback from experienced photographers too.

I've looked for the significance of rooks before Jasmine & never found much, but I have my own ideas that i will write about sometime.

Barry, i liked the feeling of mystery or suggestion of otherworlds in the 2nd one... but it was lucky,! I just kept firing as I followed it.

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