A Tame Rook

Above: Swedish photos of rook nests from 1905 and 1921

Reverend George Menzies Lambrick (1860-1929), his letter from
Dogs, Birds & others, Natural History Letters from “The Spectator” (1921)

Watching a bird building a nest is fascinating. But few people, myself included, would have the forbearance to let an uncaged bird build a nest inside their house. This is, however, exactly what the Rev. George Menzies Lambrick (1860-1929) did, to accommodate the tame rook which had become a member of his household.

Listen to my recording here:
Read the book here. The reverend’s account begins on page 114.

“I noticed the rook had a tendency to carry things to the mantelpiece, so I fixed a cushion to shut off a place between the mantel and over mantel; she immediately began to build inside. The nest was constructed entirely of what could be got in the house. She started with twigs out of the housemaid’s box, then impounded four work scissors, my two-foot rule, three silver teaspoons, the receipt file, reels of cotton and silk, two tape measures, a strap, string, and tape. All these were wonderfully worked in, the interlacing being most clever and laborious.

Having satisfied herself with the outside, she proceeded to line it, the first precious prize being a new chamois leather. This was followed by three cleaning cloths, a pair of stockings, pieces of linen, flannel, silk, a newspaper torn to shreds and taken piece by piece. Bright colour was a great attraction, always preferred to white or brown goods. Three days were occupied in building, and the first of five eggs was deposited in the nest the day after it was finished.”

Rook nest with eggs


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