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Rooks in Leon

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Offline Dave

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« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2008, 20:37 PM »
Hi Lucy
Yes Greek letters Alpha and Omega signifying beginning and End, you see them a lot in Catholic churches I assume signifying that Christ is the beginning and also the end of Life, any better explanations out there.
regards
from an Agnostic
Dave

Offline lucy

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« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2008, 23:26 PM »
Thanks Dave, I'd never noticed that before.

Offline Dave

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« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2008, 13:55 PM »
Hi Everyone
TP asked a couple of questions, regarding
a) the Villadangos nests, in fact despite the nest site being quiet, there were lots of rooks around the area, feeding in the fields, s I assume they had left the site, for the day.
b) Converting analogue to digital fomat, I will post in the computer questions section.
Regards
Dave

Offline Dave

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« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2008, 13:29 PM »
Hi Everybody
Our last visit to the Rooks at Villadangos and San Martin del Camino, was a huge success Rooks everywhere, some near their nests, others returning with beaks full of nest building material, and the maize stubble fields black with foraging rooks. The nest are starting to increase in number, I will do a count next time, and as always an incredible din. From the sheer number of birds, I would estimate that last year was an good year for breeding, the skies were sometimes black with Rooks, the trees thick with them, how I could try to count them I don´t know.
Regards
Dave

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2008, 14:21 PM »
Greetings Dave,
Glad to know yer rooks are thriving! Surely the result of bumper harvests the previous year? Lack of competition? Lack of predators?
As for
Quote
how I could try to count them I don´t know.
I'm sure the twitchers and/or jizzers out there have tried-and-tested methods (similar to the ones used by law enforcement agencies at demonstrations ...)
Regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
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Offline Dave

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« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2008, 13:45 PM »
hi All
Called in to see the rooks, on the way to Torre yesterday, lots of activity, and the nests are multiplying by the visit, will do a nest count week, and compare with the same time as last year, it will be interesting, as the first impression is that the nests have increased significantly.
regards
dave

Offline Dave

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« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2008, 13:09 PM »
Hi All
Went for a stroll this morning by the river, and came back through Quevedo park, a large park just a few hundred metres from home. The park boasts an extensive collection of specimen trees, and it is a real oasis not too far from the city centre. To my surprise, today I discovered a new rookery, consisting of 10 nests spread over three trees, I have not seen them before, so I can only assume this is a new colony, so it would appear the Rooks are in expansion. The River Bernesga is close by, and I have seen the rooks foraging on the banks in previous years, so I assume they have now decided there is sufficient food in the area to support a new colony. This brings to 5 the total rookeries within a 20 km radius of Leon, with hopefully more to be discovered.
regards
Dave K

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2008, 13:22 PM »
Great news, Dave!
Rock Rook on!
Regs.,
Technopat

PS.
We have kitchen counters, check-out counters, Geiger counters, Web counters, etc. and now iberianatureforum has, in Dave, its very own rook counter. And to which we shall very soon be adding our first iberianatureforum Grazalema summit or encounter ...
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2008, 13:29 PM »
PS.
I suppose you're also counting the days to yer birthday. I'll be in the village over those days, so won't be able to say ¡Que cumplas muchos más! (En. anyone?) :sign: . Better early than never ...
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Dave

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« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2008, 17:14 PM »
Hi all
Yes thanks for the greetings TP
Finally got to do a nest count, a couple of weeks later than last year.
The good news is that there are roughly the same number of nests at San Miguel de camino, although some shifting around of the numbers in each set of trees, in total around 235 nests in total. Interestingly, there are now 6 nests on an electricity pylon, which is close to the large concentration, this is the first time I have seen rooks nesting in anything other than a tree. So for each observation date I now have the numbers.
13th March 2007 – total nests – approximately 236
19th December 2007 – total nests – Approximately 59
26th March 2008 – total nests – approximately 235.
At Villadangos a different story
Last year I counted 45 nests on the 13th of March, this year this has increased to 118, an enormous jump.
As mentioned last time, Parque Quevedo in Leon now has 16 nests.
A new rookery, near Trabajo de Cerecedo has 20 nests.
So it looks as though the rooks of Leon are in expansion, not only in the number of nests, but also in rookery sites.
Map attached.
Regards
Dave
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 17:27 PM by Dave »

Offline Clive

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« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2008, 17:33 PM »
Thanks for the latest news Dave. I must say I really look forward to the updates on this Rooks of Leon topic. The increase in numbers at Villadangos is good news.

So during the peak breeding season how many individual birds would there be including chicks in the nest? How many chicks are reared by a pair I wonder.

And what makes up the bulk of the food supply? worms and beetles from the surrounding fields supplemented with some carrion?

Clive
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Offline Dave

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« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2008, 17:53 PM »
Hi Clive
Number of birds in a nest is difficult, rooks generally lay 3- 6 eggs depending on the age of the rook, older Rooks tend to be more successful at rearing young and tend to lay larger clutches. Even so if we assume that there are two adults and one chick in a nest, this year we could be looking at nearly 1000 rooks within the sites I have found in my area, around 200 to 400 new birds each year, depending on how successful the parents are.
Rooks generally eat Worms, insects and grain, the latter of which brings them into conflict with the local farmers, most of our rookeries are near to Maize fields.
I have just been reading a report about what is considered the largest rookery in the UK, in Norfolk, with an estimated 85,000 birds, I have got a little way to go.
Regards
Dave

Offline lisa

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« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2008, 06:17 AM »
I do hope they don't reach "plague" proportions. I'm having a bit of trouble with the red writing on the Google map but great idea  :clapping:
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Offline Dave

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« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2008, 10:35 AM »
Hi Lisa
sorry about that, but the red is irrelevant the large green letters have replaced them
Regards
Dave

Offline Clive

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« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2008, 10:47 AM »
Did you all know that a ruck sack is in fact a rooksac?

In the old days in the LOG baby rooks were on the menu and so people would climb up to the nests take chicks and put them in the special sac they had tied around them.. They put them in the rooksac..... :)

I wonder if this is urban myth or actually true.

Clive

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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2008, 12:34 PM »
Greetings All,
Great map, Dave. Thanx. I don't have any problems with the red/green, but then I'm not daltónico (En. anyone?) and I use FireFox  :dancing: .
Just had a quick gander, and it seemed to me that the colonies are moving nearer to the main road. If that is indeed so, would it be 'cos they would have handier access to more protein, as in roadkills, or 'cos the sound of traffic would make a welcome and soothing change to their own racket?

Nice try, Clive. Don’t think I ain’t noticed the enormous strides taken in the write direction, what with all these spell checkers ‘n’ all.
For some reason, folk etymology, aka urban myth as origin for words, etc. usually carries more weight than the actual origin of words. Bit like the bad reputation given to wolves, spiders, vampires, etc.

Just so our stateside friends don’t feel discriminated here at iberianatureforum, am posting Merriam-Webstar’s version and the Oxford vers. (Actually the real reason is that the online Oxford doesn't provide the etymology ...)

rucksack
Etymology:
German, from German dialect, from Rucken back + Sack sack
Date:
1879
http://www.merriam-webster.com/

Etymology:
Middle English, from Old English hr?c; akin to Old High German hruoch rook
Date:
before 12th century
: a common Old World gregarious crow (Corvus frugilegus) that nests and roosts in usually treetop colonies
http://www.merriam-webster.com/

rook
  • noun a crow with black plumage and a bare face, nesting in colonies in treetops.
  • verb informal defraud, swindle, or overcharge.
  — ORIGIN Old English.
http://www.askoxford.com/?view=uk

The “bare face” reference above, used in connection with meaning 2, is of course where we get our great "crook" from. Only jokin'!
Regs.,
Technopat



Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2008, 12:38 PM »
PS.
Not sure if Clive's - not Dave's - rooks would have been included in the global term "black birds" of the "baked in a pie" sort, but if so, we should surely continue over at the snarfing board.
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Dave

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« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2008, 13:01 PM »
Hi Everyone
Some interesting research on Rooks, from the Max Planck institute in Germany
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7322113.stm
Regards
Dave

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #38 on: March 31, 2008, 15:10 PM »
Greetings Dave,
Thanx for that - fascinating! Teamwork is where it's at.
Reg.,
Technopat
PS.
What these experts never seem to understand is that they can't draw their conclusions from the behaviour of just one pair of rooks. I certainly wouldn't want to be compared to some humans I know who compare pretty badly to those rooks...
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Dave

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« Reply #39 on: March 31, 2008, 16:26 PM »
Hi TP
They actually used 8 pairs of Rooks, they all performed the same, but some took longer to learn than others. All I´ve got to do now is persuade a couple to use my camera and take some close ups in the local rookeries  :)
Regards
Dave