Rook in the Red Coat

Children playing in the early 20th century captured and put a red coat on this rook. When it flew back to the rookery it’s flock rejected it and made such a noise that the keeper came and shot the bird.

The sad story of this rook might tell us something about the behaviour of these intelligent birds. Was it curious as to what the children were doing? How else did they get close enough to catch it? It also highlights how people have sometimes treated animals: using them as a source of entertainment and persecuting them when they cause inconvenience.

  • Rook in the Red Coat

Research Activities


Find out five facts about rooks, for example, what do rooks eat?


The story of this rook is a very sad one. Today this specimen reminds us to think on the consequences of our interactions with wildlife. Write a story about how we can be considerate and help the animals that we share our environment with.

Artefacts in exhibition case The Beaney Museum

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