[Three Hundred Animals Contents]
THE wrangling and screaming of these birds, on the tops of high trees, near gentlemen’s houses, and in the middle of cities, is not very pleasing; yet old habits, to which we are reconciled, have as much influence upon us, as if they were productive of amusement. Hence it has been seldom attempted to destroy a rookery, although the noise, and other inconveniences, that accompany these birds, render their vicinity often obnoxious. They feed entirely on corn and insects, and are little bigger than the common crows. Their young are said to be good eating, and are generally skinned before they are dressed. The colour is black, but brighter than that of the crow, to which the Rook resembles in shape. The female lays the same number of eggs; and the male shares with her the trouble of fetching sticks, and interweaving them to make the nest, an operation which is attended with a great deal of fighting and disputing with the other Rooks. It is amusing to see their coming at sun set, as thick as a cloud, hovering over a grove, and after several eddies described in the air, and incessant screamings, each repairing to his own nest, set in a few minutes to rest, till the dawn call them up again, to their pasture in the neighbouring fields.