Rooks using nests that have been moved together with their supporting branch (sticking out at green arrow)

Rooks, colonies and nuisance

Rooks are often confused with crows, but they are very different. This is about the crows that nest in colonies, so rooks. CABWIM is specialized in solving nuisance problems caused by rooks. Since 2003 CABWIM has advised about thirty municipalities, not only in the Netherlands, but also in Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

Rooks are protected birds that breed in colonies. CABWIM has come with the idea that moving old nests is important for moving rook colonies. This was indeed demonstrated in research project, including  6 municipalities.

A new nesting site along a highway, prepared as an alternative for a rookery causing problems at a cemetery. 18 nests had been transferred. The next season the rooks built up to 127 nests! 

CABWIM has thus delivered the standard that currently applies to the Dutch management of  rook problems. But moving nests does not work in itself.

The method is highly tailored. In contrast to the general view about opportunistic crows, rooks are fussy and conservative regarding their nesting site. It has to do with their building skills. Tailored research is needed to discover their particular needs, not only regarding their nest building, but also regarding their fouraging areas. The selection of an alternative nesting site is based on this research, which needs a specialist. This research takes place in March-April. In case a proper alternative nesting site is found, old nests can be moved from the nuisance to the alternative site in December. 

Typical for experienced rooks. An image illustrating the importance to understand nest site choice. The female guards the beginning of the nest …. Why?

CABWIM’s successes are based on in-depth knowledge of the species’ behaviour and habitat needs, as well as experience in dealing with rooks.

Observations and site analyses are best carried out during the nesting period. Resettlement will start the following autumn. The first talks and consultations with the town or municipality take place on site. The further consultation can take place by email or telephone. 

CABWIM distinguishes itself in this work. In the short term, CABWIM knows how to recognise what the colony needs, where to find alternatives and how this can lead to a sustainable solution and coexistence with rooks.  You can reach us via the contact details.