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I can guarentee you Millet that if you were in a wood and you shot a young 6 week old straight of the nest rook or crow that you could not tell the differance in the shape of the beak ...they are near identical up until they are about 12 weeks old but there is a differance I will try and shoot both and show you .

we shot this rookery on sat 12th may 2012 and I would say we were 4-5 days too late as we usually take +/- 500 but omnly had aropund 100 ...the good weather we had in march brought everything forward so imo there is no set date but a rule of thumb the second week in may ....as for rooks they are corvids and might no be as predatory as maggies or hoodies but they will take a few chicks and eggs but the damage they do to crops and feed they have to be controlled

 

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i get asked every year to thin a rookery out and if you wait till the 12th you'll be late at them, the farmer phoned last monday the 7th say that alot had started on the wing over wkend, i had a ride over the tuesday and had a good 150 shots and then again the thursday with around another 100 shots, ive had another couple of hours today and after today its not worth going back as there strong on the wing now,

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so for all the corvid experts how do you tell a young crow from a young rook????? and duncan if you shoot branchers on the 12th of May you would be too late most years especialy this year

This year you are dead right- I only got half the amountI normally get and I seemed to have slightly missed the boat. That'll teach me to do some reconnaissance!

The last few years round here the traditional brancher day was spot on for timing, in my rookeries at least I knocked down many birds literally just 'branching out'.

Next time I'll recce starting in april I think, keep an eye on them.

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