Get involved: 2022 – 2023 Rook Survey!

For the first time in the history of the Welsh Ornithological Society, WOS is running an all-Wales species survey during the springs of 2022 and 2023. The species to be surveyed is the Rook (Corvus frugilegus). The aim is to establish distribution maps of rookeries and a robust breeding population estimate in Wales for this familiar, but declining member of the crow family.

Why Rook? Why now?

Rooks are in trouble and need help. As a result of declines caused by farming changes, pesticides and persecution, they have been moved from Green to Amber in the recently published Birds of Conservation Concern 5 and from Least Concern to Vulnerable on the IUCN European Red List.

Two UK-wide breeding Rook surveys have been held in the past – one in 1975 and another in 1996 – but none since then and an all-Wales survey is long overdue. In Wales they appear to be in more trouble than elsewhere. The Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) index for Wales fell by 58% during 1995-2018, accelerating after 2010, and the rate of decline is considerably greater here than in any other UK nation.

Nest-building is well underway in late winter

For more information about the Rook survey and how you can get involved, please click here. This also provides a link to an online booking app to view and allocate priority tetrads.

If a Priority tetrad is not convenient for you then you can choose to survey another more convenient tetrad. Contact with your Local Organiser is essential to avoid more than one person surveying the same tetrad. There will not be an online booking system for Non-Priority tetrads.

BTO Region Local Organiser Contact Details
Cardigan Naomi Davis
Carmarthenshire Emma-Louise Cole
Pembrokeshire Bob & Annie Haycock

For more information about Rooks in Pembrokeshire, go to the Avifauna where some additional historical information on Rook distribution has been added recently. More information will be added from the county archive soon.

Bob and Annie Haycock, local rookery census organisers, Pembrokeshire.