Please, do not hamper a young bird's life by picking it up, and taking it home with you. It is calling its parents to help them in locating it.
After fledgling from the nest, the parent birds will keep feeding it, and look out for it, until it will be able to look after itself.
And the reason you cannot see a parent is because of your own proxomity to the young bird. And while you are ebating if or not you should take the bird home, you keep the parent from giving it well needed nutrition in the form of a meal!


The photos on this blog are all taken by me. If there is any picture you might want to use for any other than personal use, please drop me a line to the email address shown in the sidebar on the right.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hooded Crows, Rooks, and an Oxford dictionary

The Hooded Crow photos are still from our stay in Bantry. The ten Hooded Crows visiting the harbour and its nearby area were hard to photograph most times, with the sky overcast during those days, yet sometimes I got lucky. Nothing special, just the best Lumix and I could do.

One of the difficult things in Corvid photography, apart from the Jay, is that often you end up with a fairly 'dead' photo when all you've got is a black head and no visible eye. I'd love to meet up with a Chough one day to get that funny Red Eye into my photo.
The Jackdaw has its own remarkable eye ring, of course. To illustrate this, I got you another original of our top model, JJ. And it seems he has no trouble in finding ways to amuse me.
Just a taster of more photos to come:

And the 'blue' eye of the Hooded Crow, which isn't blue at all, but it was reflecting the sky in this way with the Sun shining onto it. It adds a kind of sparkle to it.

This spring I passed an area at the harbour in town where the recycling 'banks' are situated and it was these Rooks which were taking advantage of the many people which would still leave their bags of household rubbish there. God knows what the birds-and other local wildlife- are getting hold of! Just thinking of all these fast food containers, convenient food packaging and other chemical harbouring solids, makes me shiver. Mind you, it could also have been the litter from one of the late night walkers or fast food fan across the harbour and that it had just been dropped casually.
I cook without salt myself, and only use black pepper at a later stage. I might be married to a salt addict for 28 years, this does not mean that I would have to add it to my food from the start.
The Rooks were eyeing each other and this food wrapping which was lying in the middle of the road. It was amusing to watch them, how they were waiting for the other to make the first move and trying to take it from the opponent, once one had made that crucial first move.

I love how the bib of the Hooded Crow stands out in this photo; one of its most prominent features. It always reminds me of my ink days, when I used to draw or and also paint with black Indian ink. It was not rare to end up with big marks on paper suddenly, and it was not too far removed from the Hooded Crow's bib.
I wonder if size is a mark of strength for the females when choosing on a strong father for her brood?
The Irish name for Hooded Crows is also Grey Crow which does not really describe him, in my view. However, if you'd compare it with a Carrion Crow, then yes, yuo'd soon talk of the grey one. But with no Carrions here, was there a need to distinguish it with its own, comparable name? or is it from the Celtic language and was it used in other Celtic areas where you do see the two in the one area sometimes, like in certain places in Scotland. On our island we do not see the 'Black' Crow at all. Or, if so, it might be on one or two places on the east coast.

When we moved to Ireland, in 1983, we had only one dictionary with us, a wonderful Oxford English dictionary in hardback, which I had bought 8 years earlier in the UK somewhere. Why I had not brought a Dutch-English one, I have no idea. I had only a few Dutch books with me, a few real treasures. (most are lost now.) We only had a small second hand Peugeot to pack with all we were going to need for one year. A year later I went to pak the rest of our stuff, giving a lot of it to friends in Holland before the big truck came to take it away.

My mum-also an-English-language freak--(who had bought the same Oxford when we were in England together) sent me a set of Dutch/French & French Dutch and the Dutch- English/ English Dutch in paperback. The mistakes in the Dutch-English is amazing and one day, when I've got the time, I will compile a list of certain mis-translations which I have met up until now. One of these is on the Hooded Crow, which is translated as "Spotted" Crow.
Whichever way I look at them, I cannot spot any spot on them.

The Rooks at home are really very predictable- they will hop from one divider on the shelf to the next, looking down onto the planter (birdtable) casually and innocently, before hopping bacck and to and fro for another two or three times.
The temporariry addition of Cyclamen to the planter-whose visual effect or obsatruction does keep cats from jumping up, has been making life difficult for the Corvid family. The Rooks, the Jackdaws and the Hooded Crows, they all had to take a step back.
JJ has come daily though. He would manage to throw the plants over, resulting in me having to get outside again every time he had been here.
The idea is that the Cyclamen go into a windowbox for on the shelf, which would then 'lift' that dark area, whenever it has been raing and the wall gets dark and grey.
Wet weather has prevented me from doing so though.
Instead, dear readers, here is a little .
Rook-video nothing special.


  1. Great photos. Wonderful birds, the corvids. Really enjoyed the video.

  2. Thank you Crow. I shot the video after it had rained and it had dried again. Apparently not on the right hand side! And only later did I discover the strange effect this had on Mr. Rook.

  3. I keep trying to get a good picture of the crows that come to the feeders but for some reason they just don't come out as well as I'd like. Now, after looking at your video I'm thinking maybe I'll try that again.

  4. Don't know why I missed this posting before. Nice set of photos re my beloved corvids. Mind you my first reading of this I thought why is Yoke adding hooded crow to a photo of a Jackdaw.... sorry, it must be a Friday. wish we had hoodies over here...the crow types, not the naughty boys... but we're just too far south

  5. Don't start me on birds I d start to wish for, Border.
    It is better not to do so; even though I'd love to see one of the Grey Phalaropes which you had nearby recently.

    yep, Corvids feel at home here on this blog, and you can expect one most of the time; after all, I love them too. Not all my garden birds share this however, like the Robins and Great Tits. The little ones, Coal and Blue, do not mind; they are using the big brothers for safety.


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