John T. Willis

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rook

For many years, Evelyn and I have played a game called Rook. This game is based on a bird.

The rook is called in Latin Corvus frugilegus, the latter word meaning "food-dathering." This bird is approximate 12-14 inches long. It is black, but has a blue or bluish-purple sheen in bright sunlight. This bird has a grey-white skin around the base of bill in front of the eyes. Several rooks is called a "building."

The rook lives in Great Britain, Ireland, much of north and central Europe, Iceland, northern Scandinavia, Asia, and New Zealand. This bird eats earthworms and insect larvae, which it finds by probind the ground with its bill, as well as cultivated cereal grain, fruit, small mammals, acorns, small birds, their eggs and young and carrion, human food scraps.

The rook nests in the very tops of trees. Its breaks off branches and twigs. It has 3to 5 eggs usually in February or March, and are incubated for 16 to 18 days. Both adults feel the young, which are fledged by the 32nd or 33rd day. In the fall, the young birds gather into flocks with unpaired birds of former seasons.

The call of the rook is "kaah," flatter than the Carrion Crow. This bird fans its tail and bows on each caw. Solitary birds "sing" to themselves expressing strange clicks, wheezes and almost human-like notes. The rook can use a tool. If they push a stone off a ledge into a tube, they will get food. They can get a stone and carry it to the tube if no stone was already present. They use sticks, wire and figure out how to bend a wire into a hook to reach an item.

Folklore says rooks are able to forecast the werath and sense the approach of death. If a rookery was abandoned, it brought bad fortune for the family that owned the land. Rooks are responsible for escorting the souls of the virtuous dead to heaven.

I hope YOU appreciate rooks. They are very interesting and intriguing creatures. They are just another example of God's wonders throughout planet earth. I hope YOU are thankful for God and his marvelous works. Share YOUR experiences with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis

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