EBwS 2021 Rookery Survey. A Citizen Science Project

I had a shock last week on returning home from a walk past my local Rookery.  Twenty seven nests remained of the sixty three active nests I found there on 23 March in 2020. The importance of the Rookery Survey we launched in the End of Year Birds of Essex Review on YouTube became ever more pertinent.

The 'Rookery Survey'  - counting Rook nests (or none see later!) is something we can all do wherever we are within the county as we exercise walk, run or cycle or during an essential drive.


Over 120 surveys completed so far! See map below for distribution of recorded nests..


There are 4 steps to recording our data:


  • LOCATION - we need to know where you located the Rookery.
  • SIX FIGURE GRID REFERENCE  We have a tool on the Rookery Survey page to provide help.
  • COUNT - we need the number of nests (not Rooks!) seen.
  • OBSERVATIONS - we need any background or further relevant information.

A quick how to... guide on reporting Rookery sightings can be found HERE


At this time of year, an active Rookery will have Rooks starting to build and rebuild nests. Look at the picture above and note that Rooks nest high in the trees (top third) and in groups. They reuse old nests so there will likely be groups of nests present already, therefore just count the nests that you see - like the ones in the photograph. It would be great if you can go back later in March to recount any new nests, but it's not essential. If you spot a Rookery during an essential drive within the county but can't stop to count it, when it's safe to do so simply find the 6 figure grid reference and add it to our records with the comment 'Rooks present but not counted'. Somebody else may be able to follow up based on the information you provide.  

Important - you can still assist even if there are no longer any Rooks in your area! You may recall a former rookery or know of a suitable woodland site with no Rooks. Check it thoroughly and even if you don't find an active Rookery you can still submit the data. Simply enter '0' in the count and 'Suitable woodland - no Rooks' or 'Former Rookery' in the observations (plus any historical data for the former Rookery if you have it).  

Howard Vaughan is collating the data and will report back - if we get enough to do so!


                                                                                       Submit Your Records Here


Records (the 4 steps please) can also be emailed to info.ebws@gmail.com 

OR handwritten and sent by post to : Swan Cottage, 370 London Road, Stanway, Colchester, Essex. CO38LU