Young crows leave their nests at around a month old. Jackdaws are fed by their parents for a further month until they are left to their own devices, while young rooks and crows stay with the adults until the late summer. Carrion crows sometimes remain in family groups through the winter.
However it is now autumn and with winter approaching, the rooks are joining up with the crows (normally more solitary and aloof fellows) and the jackdaws. We had several jackdaws in the top of our Water Tower in the yard this year. They are a real nusience as they think they can help themselves to our food. Sometimes the young ones weasel into our outside pens and we take great delight in sitting on them and dragging them around - that is until Mum tells us off and rescues the offending thief.
Outside the breeding season, daytime flocks form from early afternoon. They gather around these abundant food sources, particularly liking the freshly ploughed fields on the Wattlebury estate, and large numbers improve the chances of locating sources of food. Across the big field when the trees are bare in December, sometimes the gang will alight there and for all the world it looks like a tree completely covered in black liquorice. How do they all fit? More pairs of eyes mean safety in numbers, too: predators are more likely to be spotted and the flock can ‘mob’ them and drive them away. Mind you poor Mr Buzz and Kit and Kate Kite are hardly likely to want to predate them - but they certainly do have a hard time if they venture too near.
Just this morning on the way to Wattlebury Green we noticed an assorted corvid clan picking some of the remaining maize and carrying it to a communal feasting place. Each spring every species keeps itself to itself, but come autumn they work together for their survival and well-being. Gordon xxx