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Clark Kent joined by Lois Lane!

Posted by merlintherook on February 5, 2012 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Lois was rescued from a "rook parliament" and taken to a wildlife sanctuary up on the Norfolk Coast. She is unable to fly so needed a home, and despite being a wild bird is coping very well with Clark's help.

We also have our first picture of Munchie...

(unless you count the one in UFC's; ed) a crow who was released last year to make her own way in the wild, but chose to continue living at The Rookery, out there around the wood & garden. She comes every day for lunch, but has been very hard to photograph as she is very quick to fly off when she sees a phone or camera!

We hope she'll find a mate and raise her crowlings in Rookery Wood this summer.

Clark Kent the Super Rook

Posted by merlintherook on September 4, 2011 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

So he IS a super hero!! Yes! Super Clarke Kent!


A very, pathetic little bundle was brought to me by a friend in May 2011. I had only been speaking to her a couple of days before about the high winds we were having and that I had rescued about 6 or 7 rooks already as their parents were not interested in feeding them if they fell to the ground. So when my friend saw a grounded rook  at The Old Place, Boston Road, Sleaford, she attempted to pick it up which proved to be easy as it was extremely disabled. I named him Clarke Kent immediately as I felt if I told him he was a superman enough, he would become one! And calling 'Clarke' might teach him to speak as well! He had no voice, just a cough/sneeze/gasp all in one. He really was having difficulty breathing. He had a drooping wing and the opposite leg was twisted, with the back toe pushed forward which caused him to limp terribly. He was filthy and had a crossed over beak. Top and bottom didn't meet so I knew he would have difficulty using it to forage in the future. When anyone peeped in his carrying box when I took him to work, they would back off when they saw what a state he was in and the awful noises he was making. He really was very off-putting. Even when the vet was handling him, I could see him trying to control his reaction.


Clarke had a lung infection and had a couple of strong anti-biotic doses along with a worming programme which stopped the noisy spluttering. At the same time his beak straightened and amazingly his back toe arranged itself in the correct position. Because of his joy in bathing, his feathers began to improve and I like to think the love and attention I gave him made him feel important. He had literally found his feet and began to strut about, pecking everything, including me, finding bits of treasure in the garden, as he was completely loose at this time. He could not fly and showed no interest whatsoever of straying away. And then he had some rook friends to stay while their carer was on holiday. They were rather aggressive towards him in the run, so I kept Clarke out, allowing him to just roam. But he bonded with them and they formed plans together, cleverly offering each other bits and pieces through the wire, especially sticks which were smartly put through sideways. It was amazing to watch. He also copied them by cawing loudly - he had found his voice at last. He was so lonely when they went, but he picked up because I was on holiday and spent lots of time with him. But it was then I realised that with Autumn approaching and no hope of having an aviary erected outside, he was doomed to many long days on his own in the house and I just couldn't bear the thought of it. I selfishly wanted to keep him. It's because I love him I phoned Jo Phillips and asked if she had any corvids needing a mate. She said she might have one, but if not, a Kookaburra might do!!!! And I will let Jo continue the story of the incredible Clarke Kent.........

A Departure and an arrival.

Posted by merlintherook on September 4, 2011 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Crows Terry and Muchie were released last Sun (28.08.11)

I havent seen Terry, but munchie visits every day and has a special tree where I put out food for her. As I hear crow caws quite a lot I suspect Terry is also nearby, but doesn't want to come near the house.

Clark Kent the Super Rook has come to live with us and is now thoroughly at home, his story as told by Kate who rescued him can be found on Clarks Blog. He can't fly at present but perhaps next year he'll be nipping into a phone box, donning tights and cloak & soaring into the sky!

JULY 2011

Posted by merlintherook on July 4, 2011 at 7:52 AM Comments comments (0)

We now have a corvid free house!  Cuppah the little jackdaw has flown away to be a proper wild jackdaw, and 6 of our rooks have been able to graduate  to going off with the rest of the tribe to find their own food out in the fields. We still have 2 rooks, Turban and Cozy, coming to the rook restaurant 3 or 4 times a day, and spending many happy hours in the cherry tree nearest the farmhouse, where it is a delight to be able to see them from the window. The two crows who came here from Em in Lincs will be here until Terry has grown new flight feathers, and will then be released. They have shown definite signs of being a bonded couple, with Munchie doing "baby begging" to Terry which means they should stay together throughout their lives.

Magic and mishaps

Posted by savalmandy on June 25, 2011 at 7:49 AM Comments comments (1)

Hi folks! I bet you've forgotten who I am as it's been such along time since my last post, sorry about  that, getting Her to do the typing for me is a tough job! I think I shall have to invest in my own computer so I don't have to rely on her! lol

Well I'm doing well (after a bit of a nasty episode yesterday) and I am loving the life of the spoilt house bird! I totally rule the roost if you'll pardon the pun and I keep every one in their rightful place which is much further down the pecking order than me!

She had a busy day yesterday which annoyed me a little, She should save all her attention for me! Anyway she had to go shopping in the morning then tidy up before visitors would arrive. Somewhere between her getting home from the supermarket and starting the tidy up I broke a blood feather on my damaged wing! Well there was blood everywhere! All over my cage, the walls and ceiling of the sitting room, on the floor and all over the sofa, what a mess! Not to mention blood pouring down my wing and clogging up all my feathers and all over my feet. I think She got a terrible fright as I've never broken one of my big blood feathers before, only a little one a couple of times.

Anyway she caught me and wrapped my up and tried to stop the bleeding and clean me up but it was a messy job! She ended up having to get one of her fledglings to wash me while she held me and tried to stop the flow of blood while her male set to cleaning up the mess from the walls and furtniture. The blood wouldn't stop and I think She was getting quite panicky about it but i just stayed quite under the towel and said nothing! Luckily She is not very squeamish unlike her Male who doesn't like blood! After about 15 minutes of cleaning up and putting pressure on the end of the broken feather She did manage to stop the blood by I was feeling quite sorry for myself by then and when She put me back in my cage I just sat and dozed for a while. She was very worried that the bleeding would start up again but also that all the stress would be too much for me.

She went and had a look online for what to do about broken blood feathers and came back to inform me that it would need to be removed! By this time her visitors had arrived so She said I could be left in peace for a couple of hours to recover before she would tackle removing it! I have to say I didn't much like the sound of that at all but I had a sleep then had some mealworms and went back to destroying my newly tidied cage! Having the feather removed was not nearly so bad as we expected and I'm much more comfortable now! Today I am back to my normal noisy, cheerful self, She hopes I will be more careful in future not to know any more of my new feathers but we'll see.

I have now got a full grown up cere and look very handsome indeed but I still don't like having my photograph taken but She says I must have at least one nice new picture taken to put on here so I guess I'll just have to or She will keep nagging me. I finally have a single tail feather but She is hopeful that by the end of my moult I will have several tail feathers. I don't know what all the fuss is about really, tail feathers just get in the way when you can't fly! My damaged wing doesn't cause me any real trouble other than not being able to tuck it up properly so She has to keep the ends of the feathers clipped to stop them catching on stuff, I hate it when it's time for that job but I'm trying to be good about it and I actually allow Her to clip those feathers and my claws when I am perched on her hand it's much nicer to have it done that way than being wrapped up in a towel!  How undignified is that!?

I think I have won the battle over the jesses! I hate them!!! I kept making such a fuss about having them on that She was scared to leave them on all the time in case I hurt myself trying to take them off so She has given up putting them on at all. (He thinks I've given up but in truth I'm only taking a break and will try them again later!)

I get very spoilt here and have all the humans jumping to attention! I get fed dinner off their plates every night not to mention bits of their toast or biscuits during the day. I come down to the bottom of the cage beside Her chair and have lovely quiet conversations with her, it makes Her happy so I don't mind. I have decided that Her bedtime is too early to be my bedtime and instead of getting onto my perch at night I come to the front of the cage and try to sweet talk Her into letting me stay up later. Sometimes it works and She gets one of her fledglings to put me to bed later but sometimes it doesn't work and She blows on me until I get on my sleeping perch!! How rude is that!? I say "Hello" now in the mornings when She gets me up, It makes her laugh and call me a very clever boy so I make sure I say "hello" every morning. She is trying to teach me to say goodnight now, does she think I'm a parrot?? Ah well, I might try and learn it one day if I can be bothered but i do have a very wide range of noises and squawks now but She likes my quiet chatty, conversations best. She says she's going to record it one day but not i I havemy way She won't! I don't like people looking at me when I'm chatting. I chat and give kisses to the rook in my mirror and the humans are very rude about it! Can't they look somewhere else?

I think I have all the inside animals sorted out now! Even the cat has stopped looking at me as if I'm his next meal! I don't like that cat one little bit! The little dog Sophie gets to stay in the room when I'm out of my cage, I think she's a little bit scared of me especially as I like to use her head as a stepping stone onto the back of the sofa! She tells me off for doing that but it is fun!

She has been muttering about taking in foster crows, I'm not sure I like that idea much, I should be the only corvid in her life! I suppose if they were only going to be here for a short while I might put up with it but I won't share my cage with them!! She can find somewhere else to put them! She does still say sometimes that She would still like a small parrot and that it would be nice company for me but I'm not so sure about that, I think I prefer to be an only bird. Having said that I do quite often answer the wild rooks when I hear them. There is a small established group of rooks that spend the day in the garden and field next to the house and I can hear them very well, they are very noisy especially when the Jackdaws are with them. There are a lot of Jackdaws outside but we haven't seen any hoodies this year at all! I think they must be spending their days on one of the neighbouring farms but She does see the Raven quite often. There are 3 of them, She reckons one must be a juvenile and their flight path takes over the top of the house. They are lovely birds, so big! But not too big for the starlings to harrass them!!

My human tells me there are nasty people out there trying to kill lots of corvids! I hope the good human can put a stop to it. Don't these stupid people realise how necessary corvids are to the environment? Our Rookery in the village seems to be relatively safe and She hasn't heard of anyone trying to kill any of the rooks or jackdaws here but She says She is just a bit too far out of the village to keep a close eye on the rookery and rescue any of the young birds that fall out of the nest, hopefully if any do some other decent human will take care of them. The locals here are not great corvid lovers and already think She is a bit odd so we don't know if anyone would consider lifting the fallen youngsters and taking them up here to be cared for. Well it's probably a bit late this year anyway, it looks like all the youngsters are fledged now although they are still obviously getting fed by their parents. She is hoping that some of the youngsters may eventually start a rookery of their own here as the one in the village only has a small stand of trees and there isn't much room for many more nests there. Time will tell I suppose.

Anyway I must go and make a mess somewhere now, got to keep my human on her toes!

Hope all you Corvid friends out there are well and enjoying the summer. Take care, 

lots of love, Magic! xx

Rooklings Return!

Posted by merlintherook on May 31, 2011 at 1:58 AM Comments comments (0)

The Famous Five, Fez, Topper, Trilby, Derby and Beanie are now free flying outdor although they are requiring a non-stop supply of food served on the roof of the aviary.

Derby was found on the road by a neighbour and the others came from the foot of trees in the rookery. Indoors we have Tarboosh and Turban, who both need extra attention and are still being hand fed.

The two crows, Munchie and Terry, came from M to help her out with the large number of rescue she is taking in, and will be released as soon a Terry has grown new flight feathers. The poor bird was rescued from a Larsen trap with onw wing clipped and was near to starving when found. Please sign the petition to stop this foul practice.

Petiton to BAN Larsen and Multiple corvid traps


Flyabout in the Great British Outback (garden!)

Posted by merlintherook on May 30, 2011 at 4:32 AM Comments comments (0)

A tizzy over Dizzy   (22.5.11)

A near disaster, as we set off round the garden with the dogs this morning Dizzy took off and flew over the wall onto a branch just by the ditch, not that high but too high to reach. Then hew flew onto the electricity wires, we spent ages calling and waving a dead mouse at him. Eventually he took off and flew into the back field, we rushed round there  thinking he would have landed on the grass, but there was nothing to be seen. We searched all round the field, searched all round nomansland, squashed nettles here there and everywhere and got stung to no avail. Josh played his laugh back to him on the mobile phone, but with the wind being so strong, we were doubtful if he would hear it. Josh went and got a band amplifier and rigged it up out the back, and played it at full volume, he answered!  He was in an elderberry back near the wall again, but when we tried to cross the ditch to reach him he flew back into the garden and landed in the yew trees by the pond. Josh climbed the tree he was in and attempted to catch him in the rook net, he flew across the garden to a sycamore near the stone arch. Josh went up a ladder and managed to get him in the rook net, but he got away and flew round towards the nuttery. I was worried he could fly over the road if we weren't careful, so we took the dogs for a walk in the wood and considered further plans of action, I concluded that getting him to do what he was used to would work, ie getting him to perch on something which could be lowered down so he could come onto my hand.  We set forth with a garden hoe, and found he had moved to one of the plum trees by the nuttery, and to a much lower branch.  I raised the hoe, and was able to coax him onto it, lower it, and transfer him to my hand, which I think he was just as relieved about as we were! And all of this only took us about 3 hours!  1 more rook, so now there are 7


Posted by merlintherook on May 16, 2011 at 5:44 AM Comments comments (0)

Today is Rook Sunday and at present the bird population down here on the ground at The Rookery is 6 rooks, 2 crows, and of course 1 kookaburra!

 The six rooks are all from our rookery and are doing well, the two crows have come from M in Lincolnshire as she is full to bursting, and the intention is that they will be released when Terry who has feather damage, caused deliberately when he was put in a Larsen trap, can fly again. They are both pretty wild, and quite put out with being moved from their comfortable home to a strange new aviary , but hopefully they will settle down happily until it's time for them to take to the skies again.

 The rooks are all feeding well and getting on fine with Dizzy, who seems to be quite taken with them!

(see photo album - branchie season 2011 and new video - Bedlam)



All at sea!!

Posted by merlintherook on April 4, 2011 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Maybe Merlins nest blew down in the gales of March 31st!

It was a flimsy structure about half the size of all the other nests, very high in the tree and therefore susceptible to wind damage.

New building has commenced in a safer spot, but they've been a bit half-hearted about it & we don't hold out much hope. (Well, mum doesnt but they dont seem to be doing too badly - josh).

On a more positive note, our first pair of swallows arrived back from Africa yesterday 2nd of  april & are merrily flitting around the stable planning their nesting spot for this year.

Below is a video of Maybe Merlin trying to put twigs back in the silly old, high up nest site!

Definitely Maybe

Posted by merlintherook on March 30, 2011 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Maybe Merlins Nest!

A Rather small nest has gone up in exactly the spot which maybe merlin and wife chose last year.

There has been a lot of squabbling and dismantling of twigs by neighbours, but the resident pair have now settled for the nest "as is" and seem to have moved on to the egg laying stage, with the male bird bringing food for the sitting hen.

Could this be our boy and his chosen one?

Definitely maybe!

(below is a small video clip of maybe merlin visiting the nest, giving some food to the hen and then flying away again)

Below is a photo of maybe merlin exiting the nest after feeding the hen...


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