Not for the Ornithophobic
I don’t have a fear of birds.
Quite often however the local flocks of rooks here in the mountains go batshit crazy and it would be enough to make the hardest of hearts miss a beat or two.
Normally you don’t see many rooks around here. They tend to be somewhat reclusive. Come evening time however, and usually on a fairly blustery day just as dusk is falling they go ballistic. They take over every tree, overhead wire and every aerial [in the past I had to regularly replace aerials as they kept getting broken]. Then they just go mad.
A couple of evenings ago they were beginning to annoy me. Their little display went on for at least an hour if not two. I even had to bring Cat in as they were flying at her at ground level and scaring the shit out of Cat.
So turn up the volume and have a look. It’s only 40 seconds long.
Don’t you like rooks / crows? I rather do. They’re really, really smart. Look here for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOkj7lJpeoc , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fiAoqwsc9g
Where’s Alfred Hitchcock when you need him?
Saturday night in the mating season? We had a few on the lawn the other day jumping around and fluffing out their feathers and tails to impress the ladies. Fortunately not a football crowd like yours.
I like rooks.
Enjoy watching their squabbles with seagulls and buzzards.
And to see their aerobatics in a gale, it is hard not to believe that they enjoy showing off and taking risks just for the fun of it.
They also seem to be able to calculate if it is necessary to flee oncoming road traffic and exactly when to do it.
I suspect that human suspicion of them is because they are a bit too much like us.
Go around in big gangs, move erratically, a bit too clever and successful but without the need for a single dear leader dictator boss crow.
I guess they are not liked by so many because of their old association with death and battlefields where they were drawn as carrion birds. A bit like with tawny owls which many people associate with the idea that someone’s going to die when you hear one – which stems from old times when there was no artificial lighting and thus the only lights for miles around were those with a candle burning in a window because someone was indeed dying. The light from the candles drew the owls because it also draws insects which they hunt.
This site has fucked up after one of the latest updates – the ‘Reply’ yoke doesn’t work any more!!
@Claudia: I have nothing against them at all. It’s fairly clear that the evening aerobatics are done for the craic just because they can. There was an occasion once that amused me. I was at the end of a straight road and people had put out black plastic bags for the refuse collection. I watched as three or four crows worked their way up each side of the road towards me, pecking at the bags and bursting them. Once a bag burst they just moved onto the next bag. Behind them, the rest of the flock followed on feeding off the spilt bags. It was obvious that this was neatly organised and impressive to watch.
@Brianf: Many’s the reference to Hitchcock in the past! You’d almost expect Tippi Hedren to come running and screaming up the lane. The birds are at their most ominous when they are all perching on the overhead wires. The sit there shoulder to shoulder just silently watching. Not a sight for the nervous!
I was eating a sandwich in a park in Paris a couple of years ago and noticed the bags on the litter bins were transparent – apparently, if the rooks can see nothing to eat, they will leave the bags alone!
I would imagine there was a fair bit of kitchen waste in the black bags. The crowd doing the feeding seemed to find a plentiful supply. And they made a right mess of the road!
And I got my Reply problem sorted! It’s only temporary though…..