It is not always easy to tell when wild animals need our help, and when it is best to leave them alone. This blog post and the included flowcharts are thought to be a rough guide for situations where no expert advice and help is at hand immediately. If you have found an orphaned, injured or poorly bird, then please read the guidance provided here in this blog post together with the FLOWCHARTS No1 and No2 and follow the instructions given there.
It is important to note that specific features of hatchlings, nestlings, fledglings and juvenile birds can vary significantly among different species. Each bird species has its own unique characteristics and growth patterns. So, if you are trying to identify a specific bird, it is helpful to consult field guides, online resources or seek expert advice to accurately identify the species based on its distinctive features.
It is usually not difficult to differentiate between adult rooks (Corvus frugilegus) and carrion crows (Corvus corone). Both species may look similar at the first glance, because both have black feathers that can also look glossy. However, the long pale and pointy beak, with bare skin around its base, is the most striking and characteristic feature of rooks. It is also worth knowing that rooks nest collectively in tall trees, often close to farms or villages, which are known as rookeries. In contrast, carrion crows are fairly solitary and are usually found alone or in pairs, although they may form occasional non-breeding flocks. Unlike rooks, carrion crows do nest solitary, maintaining a large breeding territory centred around the nest.
Additional help and information about how to identify adult corvids including rooks and carrion crows can be found on the British Trust for Ornithology website (BTO).