Definition of rookery in English:



  • 1A breeding colony of rooks, typically seen as a collection of nests high in a clump of trees.

    • ‘The reason for the desertion wasn't difficult to find: a pair of Buzzards had decided that the old rookery was an ideal place for them to nest!’
    • ‘If a bird misbehaved itself such as claim or take over another bird's nest in the rookery the general body intervened and that bird was sentenced to isolation and had to go and live on a tree apart from the rest.’
    • ‘Rooks are the harbingers of spring and many people would love to have a rookery nearby, as we have at Penpergwm.’
    • ‘However, the people actually had rooks and a rookery.’
    1. 1.1A breeding colony of seabirds, seals, or turtles.
      • ‘It turns out that he has a particular fondness for penguins, and has taken it upon himself to create a rookery for them.’
      • ‘Landings offer everything from a couple of hours on the beach studying penguins or you can take a brisk walk, wander over to a rookery, learn more from the experts about the wildlife or terrain or just sit taking it all in.’
      • ‘Although the summer's overall count indicated the sea lion decline was continuing, a survey of 11 major rookeries, including the three I'd passed on my ferry trip, found roughly the same number of pups as the last survey, two years before.’
      • ‘After watching a tapir feed on the algae covering a lagoon, Paula led us to a giant egret rookery, where the twilight screamed like a million soccer fans.’
      • ‘One mile south of the lighthouse is Oregon's only sea-lion rookery home to many California and Steller sea lions.’
      • ‘Warning bells went off for locals in the 1970s after a deluge of visitors discovered the elephant seal rookery.’
      • ‘This bounty still lures millions of sea birds from rookeries across the Pacific Ocean.’
      • ‘We also expect to see abundant turtles, as the Lacepedes are Western Australia's largest green turtle rookery.’
      • ‘He speaks about penguins having to cease making their rookeries and nests when the wind gusts are really strong.’
      • ‘Instead of visiting the rookery, we'd stopped at a nearby site where a few dozen nonbreeding (juvenile and nondominant male) sea lions were hauled out.’
      • ‘This is the largest rookery in the world for the critically endangered species and half a million turtles nest here every winter.’
      • ‘The picture on the television was of a sunny rock slope emerging from blue waters, with sea lions at rest on the rookery and swimming through the light swells at its edge.’
      • ‘Gulls and terns were gradually but steadily replenishing the guano that had once been shovelled away, and a cloud of them rose protesting over the adventurers as they approached their rookeries.’
      • ‘Between nursing intervals, the mother leaves the pup in the crowded rookery as she searches for food in the ocean.’
      • ‘Pinnipeds and cetaceans make long-distance seasonal migrations to rookeries (breeding grounds) or warm-water birthing grounds.’
    2. 1.2
      North American term for heronry
      • ‘I'd been observing the birds in a heron rookery on a beaver pond near my home for more than two decades, before I finally saw a great blue heron catch a fish - three fishes and a frog, to be precise.’
      • ‘And the rookery will endure: As they are wont to do when they have a secure home, herons will beget more herons.’
  • 2A dense collection of housing, especially in a slum area.

    ‘they congregate cheek by jowl in unwholesome rookeries chosen for cheapness and convenience’
    • ‘Tenements, rookeries, and cheap rooming districts exercised a huge symbolic power over the public imagination as centres of vice, squalor, drunkenness, traffic in sex and stolen goods, and general depravity.’