Identifying Rooks

Juvenile Rook by Breffni Martin. Adult Rook by John Harding. Carrion Crow by Jill Pakenham

Top left: Juvenile Rook by Breffni Martin. Bottom left: Adult Rook by John Harding.
Right:Carrion Crow by Jill Pakenham. (Click to enlarge).

Adult Rooks are easy to identify thanks to the bare, greyish-white skin around the base of their bill. The rest of their plumage is all black.

A juvenile Rook, however, is similar to a Carrion Crow as it doesn't develop the bare bill-base until its second calendar year. If you're not sure, look for the Rook's characteristic flat forehead, peaked crown, ruffled drooping belly feathers and feathered thighs.

Rooks also have a straighter, more pointed bill, unlike the Carrion Crow's thicker, blunter and more curved bill.

 

Corvid Identification Video

Watch the BTO Rook Identification video to help you tell apart a Rook from a Crow. 

Find out more about Rooks

You can find out more about Rooks, including their breeding behaviour and distribution, by having a look at the BTO's July 'Bird of the Month' feature.