rook·​ery ˈru̇-kə-rē How to pronounce rookery (audio)
plural rookeries
: the nests or breeding place of a colony of rooks
also : a colony of rooks
: a breeding ground or haunt especially of gregarious birds or mammals (such as penguins or seals)
also : a colony of such birds or mammals
: a crowded dilapidated tenement or group of dwellings

Examples of rookery in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web San Simeon’s Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery bills itself as the only elephant seal rookery in the world that's free and open to the public every day of the year, and otters galore are a hit while kayaking in the Morro Bay Estuary. Nina Kokotas Hahn, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 May 2023 Levine Cava ordered the Department of Environmental Resources Management to conduct thorough field studies and GL Homes to submit a plan for DERM’s approval ensuring protection of the rookery. Linda Robertson, Miami Herald, 5 May 2024 Each morning, the expedition takes zodiacs out to scout for a safe landing where guests may witness a giant elephant seal yawn or a skua attacking a penguin rookery. Katie Lockhart, Robb Report, 16 Apr. 2024 The park also serves as a springtime rookery for a local population of great blue herons. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 7 Mar. 2024 In a wildlife camera set up last year near the seal rookery at MacKerricher State Park, ecologist Frankie Gerraty captured a coyote decapitating its prey, confirming many researchers’ hypotheses about the maimed seal carcasses. Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times, 23 Dec. 2023 When the females leave the rookery, frustrated males may even mount male and female pups left behind, crushing them in the process. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 Their parents sometimes died while flying over oceans or swamps (which preserve delicate bones), but the young stayed put in their rookeries. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 Sometimes, the birds select unique urban locales for their rookeries, such as Thames Street Park. Christine Condon, Baltimore Sun, 5 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rookery.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1704, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of rookery was in 1704

Dictionary Entries Near rookery

Cite this Entry

“Rookery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


rook·​ery ˈru̇k-ə-rē How to pronounce rookery (audio)
plural rookeries
: the place where a group of birds or social mammals (as penguins or seals) breed, nest, or raise their young
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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