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!