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Barefaced crow is one of the common names for the Rook (Corvus frugilegus), and it’s easy to see how it came about, though it’s not so much that its face is bare but rather the top of its large, pale beak (compare the Crow on the left, the Rook on the right).

Though there’s a rookery in a nearby town, and used to be one in the woods at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, I haven’t seen a lot of Rooks in my local area … until this winter. Now, I see them quite often, in the farm fields north of the park itself, usually in the company of Jackdaws and Carrion crows.

200229 rook (2)

I was fascinated to read in my Fauna Britannica, that ‘If a death (especially of the head of the household) occurred in a family owning the land that supported a rookery, there has been a widespread tradition that the Rooks must be told.’ Let’s hope that doesn’t prove necessary!

200229 rook (3)